Katherine Cespedes ‘10
F09-S10 D-plan: R-R-R
Philosophy & Religion
Favorite and least favorite thing about department:
What I like most about the religion department is undoubtedly the faculty. All faculty members that I have met to date are highly accomplished in their specialty field, open and eager to engage students in their courses. I highly value this feature of the department because it has resulted in courses where the professor is always prepared to give effective lectures and in the possibility to build rapport with the instructor. Least favorite aspect of the department is that specialty courses are often discontinued, some faculty leave for sabbaticals, and some stable courses are sometimes not taught for long periods of time (for instance from 07F through 09S).
Talk to me if:
You want insider perspective about classes, need advice scheduling courses, or want to chat about the place of faith in religious studies or any ideas from your religion classes.
Most valuable academic info learned:
Take classes that are meaningful or interesting to you! You will be amazed to see how enjoyable religion classes are when you come to the class with a strong interest in the topic. The assignments will not feel like assignments at all but more like opportunities to explore your burning questions. Take this advice and you’ll have fun in your classes. Not to mention you’ll do well and will learn about yourself in the process.
Favorite class and professor:
Religion and Morality (Rel 11) with Professor Green. Prof Green is an outstanding lecturer and the concepts are presented in a pleasant, straightforward manner. I personally enjoyed this course because it gave me a solid foundation on moral theory and also allowed me to adopt a position on controversial social issues. I emerged more informed about controversial social practices and as a result more confident about my moral reasoning. I highly recommend this course.
Major classes taken:
Rel 1, Rel 5, Rel 11, Rel 35, Rel 57, Rel 80, Rel 15 (in progress)
Religion has been the single most important shaper of my life. However my decision to major in religion derived from my interest in philosophy. My fascination for the way in which philosophy can build and deconstruct arguments systematically quickly showed me that religious belief could be critically examined. When I acted on my personal calling to reason critically and define my own coherent system of beliefs, I became a religion major.
Major specific activities:
Faculty-directed study of Catholic Social Teaching (Off campus–Summer 2007); Independent research on environmental ethics (Off campus–Winter 2008)
Aporia (Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy), PE course of interest every term