Virtue, Vice, and Epistemic Injustice

REL988
Spring 2017
M 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Area: 
Area V
MDIV Requirements: 
Diversity
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 
This seminar examines recent debates in the ethics and epistemology of testimony, giving special attention to the influence of social identity, the politics of power, and ongoing evasions of (in)justice.  Prominent themes include: the relationship between epistemic authority, credibility judgments, and speaker trustworthiness; epistemologies of ignorance (especially those involving race, gender, sexuality, and class); the promises and perils of virtue-based political praxis; the fostering of subversive practices of resistance; and the challenges that attend individual and communal transformation.  
 
(1) To gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between ethics and epistemology.     
(2) To examine how ordinary practices of communication involve complex relations of authority, identity, and power. 
(3) To appreciate how the demands of ethical and epistemic sensitivity shift in different interactive contexts – especially those involving race, class, gender, and sexuality. 
(4) To gain an appreciation of how these concepts are relevant in contemporary social, political, and ecclesial life.   
 
Background Expected: 

Prerequisite:  Introduction to Christian Ethics or the equivalent

Course Requirements: 

Reading: 150-200 pages/week; Final Paper: 15-20 pages.  Biweekly responses: a short paragraph 

Basis of Evaluation: 

Participation (15%), Presentation (15%), Responses (20%), Final Paper (50%)