Philosophy & Religion
and ethical development
At Salisbury School, we believe the moral, spiritual and ethical maturation of a person develops over a lifetime but begins to fully blossom for adolescent males in their middle to late teen years. As a way for you to approach the religious, philosophical, and ethical voices that continue to shape the global context in the 21st century, the Philosophy and Religion Department offers trimester classes designed to coincide with your development through your fourth, fifth and sixth form years. Each course is offered in the spirit of inquiry, along with a positive affirmation of the Judeo-Christian tradition as it supports the educational philosophy and communal life of Salisbury School. Our goal is not only expose you to the varied voices and complex systems that continue to shape the world around us, but also to offer the tools to develop your own ethical, moral, and spiritual landscape.
Courses in the Philosophy and Religion Department explore the religious, ethical and philosophical voices that continue to shape our global context. Students begin this process in their fourth form year with the study of religion and its various manifestations through a survey course on the world’s major religions. During their fifth form year, students move deeper into the abstract and often complex conversations through one of the various electives in the study of philosophy. Finally, during their sixth form year, students will apply the moral and philosophical principles through one of the various electives in the study of ethics. As each course meets the students where they are, there are no prerequisites for these classes. Three to four year students must complete at least three trimesters of Philosophy and Religion at Salisbury in order to graduate. Incoming fifth and sixth formers must complete a trimester of the respective section each year they attend Salisbury.
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Dean of Academic Life Sarah Mulrooney
As an introduction to the study of Philosophy and Religion, this course will introduce fourth formers to religion as a human response to the sacred. Students will explore how various global traditions approach myth, stories, symbols, rituals, ideals and ethical practices as a way to live and die in a meaningful way. This introduction will provide a framework through which students can reflect on their own experiences, as well as prepare them for further exploration, spiritual engagement and study. Traditions include: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
THE OUTSIDER – GENESIS AND BEYOND
In a world that grows more connected and, at the same time, more divided, this course will investigate the ethical implications of the “outsider” and issues of justice, human rights and radical solidarity. Engaging in this conversation with a critical look at the book of Genesis and the motif of the “outsider,” this class will look to scholarship, film and contemporary events that can bring to light the complex reality that creates division, separation and (ultimately) alienation. Students will also have the opportunity to research topics of their own choice for more in depth learning.