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Philosophy 312: "Nihilism and Popular Culture"--Associate Professor Thomas S. Hibbs

1. Some have argued that the Harry Potter books present evil and witchcraft as so attractive and alluring that children may be led to the dark side. Assess this thesis.

2. Nietzsche associated nihilism with the death of God. What does he mean by this? How do the films The Exorcist and Seven address the issue of the death of God and its connection to nihilism?


Honors Program 254: "Senior Seminar: Law, Medicine, and Public Policy"--Professor John J. Paris, SJ

Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at the Harvard Law School, wrote an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe (12/5/01) in which she concluded that "Our society will not find easy consensus on sex selection, cloning, eugenics, the commercialization of reproduction, and many other issues posed by developing technologies." She concludes that these issues are "too important to be left for resolution by the scientists and other private actors."

Your firm has been asked to advise President Bush's newly established National Commission on Bioethics on what regulations should be proposed to govern surrogacy, frozen embryos, cloning, and new forms of reproduction.

What standards would you use in your lawmaking? The "best interests" standard, which is based on the interests of the child? Or would you consider first the plight of the surrogate mother, ovum donor, sperm donor, or adoptive parents?

Be prepared to defend your position in an informed and articulate manner.


Theology 429: "Aspects of Jewish Ethics"--Rabbi Rifat Sonsino

Briefly discuss two of the following:

a. The change of Shabbat from Saturday to Sunday.

b. The limits of responsibility for parents in Jewish tradition.

c. What "stealing" means in the Bible and rabbinic literature.

d. Who, according to biblical law, is subject to punishment in case of adultery, and how it differs from the other ancient Near Eastern law collections.


History 429: "Shakespeare's England, 14501603"--Assistant Professor Burke Griggs

Discuss the 16th-century Reformation and the relative importance of the following: Christian Humanism, the king's "Great Matter," and popular religious sentiment. Would you agree that the Reformation was slow and that popular sentiment followed governmental statute, or do you find another interpretation more convincing? In other words, when did the Reformation begin in England, and when did it end?

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