Search Google Appliance

**Freshman Inquiry: Faith and Reason (no longer offered as of Fall 2011)

As of Fall 2011, Freshman Inquiry: Faith and Reason will no longer be offered.

Please contact the University Studies office if you have any questions.

What is the reason for the human condition? Where do we look for a moral compass?  How do we find truth? Human beings throughout history have sought to answer these questions through faith and reason. In this course, we will look at how the complex dichotomy between faith and reason has played out in human history. We will discuss the emergence of science during the Enlightenment; Darwin, evolution, and the authority of science in modern society; and contemporary issues such as creation science and faith healing. We will read broadly, touching on classical philosophy, sacred texts, modern fiction, poetry, theology, evolutionary biology, and cosmology. We will consider how our concepts of faith and reason, and the institutions of science and religion, shape both our intellectual landscapes and our efforts to develop our own moral characters.


Ann Fallon

Jesse Locker is an Assistant Professor of Renaissance & Baroque Art History. He specializes in the art of Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Particular areas of interest include: baroque painting, the art and topography of Rome and Naples, and national identity and cultural syncretism in art. He has published a number of articles and reviews on various aspects of early modern art, most recently on Raphael’s Woman with a Veil for the Portland Art Museum, and is currently completing a book on the seventeenth-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

John Ott is the son of a former Army engineer and professional musician and grew up moving regularly around the U.S. and overseas. He graduated from high school in Puyallup, Washington, and, four years later, from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma with a B.A. in History and French minor.  From there, he headed south to Stanford University, graduating seven years later with an M.A. and Ph.D. in medieval European history and a research specialization in medieval religion and culture, with a regional emphasis on France and the Low Countries.  He has been at PSU since 1999, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History.  He is married and has two daughters, ages 10 and 6, who furnish his office with their artwork.