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First Year Experience Course
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Course Name:

Course Instructors: Dr. Harbour Winn, Dr. Leo G. Werneke
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Course Description
PHIL/REL 2163-01:  MORAL ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE—VIOLENCE & NON-VIOLENCE (Dr. Leo Werneke) taught in conjunction with ENGL 1113-17 (Dr. Harbour Winn) explores the theme of violence/non-violence as vehicles for social and political change.  The course will examine two opposed ethical theories:  The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir and Stanley Hauerwas's The Peaceable Kingdom.  Hauerwas argues for an interpretation of Christian ethics that embraces the principle of non-violence as the only legitimate means for bringing about social and political change.  This position is opposed by de Beauvoir's ethics that embraces violence as a regrettable but legitimate means to advance the cause of freedom and social justice.  We will consider the lives of real social reformers, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as film, fictional and non-fictional representations of major social conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Through a writing intensive process, students will be challenged to develop their personal answer to the moral question, "If and when violence is permitted in defense of certain social values or in support of changing the social/political structure of a society?"


This combined course fulfills the general education requirements for English Composition I and Values and Culture and is designed primarily for freshmen students who are open to consider more than one possible path for their college major.  In addition to working through the course content, students will meet periodically with one or both of the instructors to explore areas of academic interest, career options, as well as to reflect on what getting an education ultimately entails.


Course Instructors

Dr. Harbour Winn—Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature, received his B. S. from Spring Hill College in English, his M. A. from the University of Houston in English , and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in English and Film. He has taught at OCU in two sequences for a total of 15 years. In the intervening period, he taught at an independent Montessori school. His areas of special expertise are American and contemporary literature, fiction, film, young adult fiction, and developmental theories of learning. Dr. Winn also has directed the OCU Film Institute, which will begin its 25th year this fall of showing international films to the community and campus. He helps chair several groups that bring distinguished poets and other speakers to the campus annually. 

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Dr. Leo G. Werneke—Professor of Philosophy, received his B.A. in philosophy from OCU, his M.A in philosophy from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from Dundee University, Scotland.  He has taught at OCU for 38 years, serving as Dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences for 10 years.  His areas of special expertise are ethics, philosophy of religion, history of modern philosophy (especially 19th and early 20th century German idealism).  Dr. Werneke began team-teaching courses with Dr. Winn in the late 1970s and has continued on an irregular basis ever since.  He regularly team-teaches the honors course, Classics of Western Culture, with Dr. Regina Bennett of the English Department. 


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