The PULSE Core Course: Person and Social Responsibility I and II PHIL1088/THEO1088 and PHIL1089/THEO1089

This two-semester, twelve-credit course fulfills the entire Philosophy and Theology Core requirement. Enrollment requires class work in conjunction with ongoing involvement in a PULSE Community Partner, requiring a 12-hour-per-week commitment. Community Partners put students in contact with people experiencing the consequences of some form of social injustice. Drawing on traditional and contemporary works of philosophy and theology, the class engages students in the challenge of self-discovery and growth as related to questions of what it means to assume responsibility for overcoming these injustices.

Courses 2023-2024

SectionScheduleDisc GroupInstructor
1M W F 11M 2 OR W 2TROXELL, M.
4T TH 9M 10 OR M 12ANOZIE, S.
7M W F 9M 11 OR M 12KRUGER, M.
10M W F 10W 12 OR F 12KRUGER, M.
13T TH 10:30TH 12 OR TH 1:30SWEENEY, E.
16T TH 12T 11 OR TH 11WEISS, J.
19T TH 10:30F 11 OR F 12MILESKI, G.
25T TH 12W 10 OR W 11ANOZIE, S.
28T TH 10:30T 12 OR T 3SWEENEY, M.
31M W F 12F 10 OR F 1TROXELL, M.
34M W F 12M 1 OR F 2LEGAS, J.
37M W F 2M 11 OR M 1HEVELONE, S.
40M W F 12W 1 OR F 1HEVELONE, S.
43T TH 1:30W 12 OR W 1SNYDER, J.
46M W F 10W 11 OR F 11LEGAS, J.

PULSE Elective Courses

All elective courses in the PULSE Program require four or eight weekly hours of service at a local community organization.

PHIL 2233 – Values in Social Service and Health Care

Instructor: David Manzo

The broadest mission of this course is to give perspective and offer reflection on your service experiences to date and then to help you discern the answer to the question, "What's next?" We will try to accomplish this through readings, lectures, discussions, and written assignments. Together we will pursue some of the questions raised by the facts, philosophies and statements contained in the readings.

PHIL 2216 – Boston: An Urban Analysis

Instructor: David Manzo

This course is intended for PULSE students who are willing to investigate, analyze, and understand the history, problems, and prospects of Boston's neighborhoods. Community service at a PULSE placement is required for participation in this course. Assignments will require spending time observing, researching, and writing about the neighborhood in which the PULSE placement is located.

PHIL 2261 – Telling Truths I: Writing for the Cause of Justice

Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective will explore writing as a tool for social change. Students will read and experiment with a variety of written forms—fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and journalism—to tell the "truth" as they experience it in their own direct encounters with social injustice. This workshop is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the range of literary strategies that social prophets and witnesses have used, and are using today, to promote the cause of justice.

PHIL 2262 – Telling Truths II: Depth Writing as Service

Instructor: Alexis Rizzuto; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective will focus on the power of story-telling to achieve justice and social liberation. We will read theoretical and narrative accounts of the role of story, examine the use of story-telling among marginal populations as a means of participating in their own "solutions." We will explore the benefits and liabilities of social media in emerging change movements. Students will engage in story gathering, telling, and analysis, through their PULSE placements and class discussion, producing a collection of original writings. (Telling Truths I is not a prerequisite.)

PHIL 2215 – Telling Truths III: The Narratives that Shape Our Lives

Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

As we encounter injustice, conflicting visions of “the good,” and different moral scales of behavior, rights, and responsibilities, it is essential that we become aware of our own foundational narratives.

What “wisdom stories” shape the way you think about yourself in relation to others? What narratives do you carry into encounters with conditions, attitudes, and beliefs that are different from yours?

In this course, students will have a rare opportunity to bring their weekly experience of service into a time of reflection, and into relation to some of the core narratives of the great spiritual traditions. We will read modern mystics, parables, and creative theologians, including: Anne Lamott, Etty Hillesum, Kendrick Lamar, and Parker Palmer. The conversation will continue as we write in and read from our journals, sharing stories and questions. Several short writing assignments will occur through the course of the term; a final, longer piece of substantive “spiritual reflection” will give students the chance to synthesize the fruits of observation, reading, and reflection. The aim of the course is to expand students’ familiarity with the great narratives of grace and forgiveness, suffering, and hope as they engage in service, and to provide a setting in which they can become intentional about adopting narratives that will shape their lives.

THEO 3201 – The Meaning and Way of Jesus

Instructor: Meghan Sweeney; Prerequisite: Theology Core Fulfilled

This course inquires into the meaning of the person and mission of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah or Christ of God. The course seeks (1) to probe and to clarify those key issues that emerge in the Church’s centuries-long response to the question, "Who was/is Jesus Christ?" and (2) to explore what concretely is at stake in "following Jesus" or in being his disciple. The first aim of the course requires a consideration of proper theological matters—divine and human natures, the salvific meaning of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the second explores the invitation of the gospel ‘to follow’ the way Jesus teaches—a way of compassionate solidarity and active commitment to the poor, abused, homeless, and excluded. With its emphasis on discipleship or living the "way" Jesus taught, the course seeks to deepen students’ understanding of the relation between action and reflection, social practice and religious faith.

THEO 3202 – Immigration and Ethics

Instructor: Kristin Heyer

This course offers an interdisciplinary examination of contemporary immigration with a primary focus on the U.S context. Texts from social scientific, legal, and policy perspectives frame the phenomenon of contemporary migration. Theological and philosophical texts, along with PULSE service experiences, illuminate ethical assessments of immigration practices. Special attention will be given to Christian anthropology and ethics as resources for analysis as well as the role of gender in matters of migration and citizenship.

PHIL/THEO 2291 & PHIL/THEO 2292 – Philosophy of Community I & II
PHIL/THEO 2293 & PHIL/THEO 2294 – Culture and Social Structures I & II

Instructor: Meghan Sweeney (Restricted to PULSE Council)

This four-semester-long sequence of courses studies community: its structure, power, and change. The dynamics of community—the interrelatedness and interdependence of its various sectors—will be examined by sharing impressions and insights. Specific theoretical models of analysis will be studied and critiqued. The purpose of the course is to begin developing new approaches for learning about social change and for building new visions for the direction that a PULSE student's responsibility to social change might take.

PHIL 2230 – Mass Incarceration: Philosophical and Theological

Instructor: Marina McCoy; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This course will explore problems of justice in relation to incarceration in the United States with particular attention to attention to race, social class, gender, and immigration status. Students will read authors writing on the philosophy of race, gender, and class in relation to incarceration, the phenomenology of solitary confinement and the concept of "social death," church documents and theological works on incarceration, and works on restorative justice and other models of justice that serves the common good. Catholic Social Justice teachings and discussion will also be a part of the course. The course will also address interconnections between immigration and incarceration. This course will be offered as a PULSE elective, in which students undertake four hours per week of service in the City of Boston at institutions such as Suffolk Country Jail and non-profits that provide transitional services for returning residents or formerly incarcerated individuals or that advocate for prison reform. The PULSE office will vet and coordinate students' placements and serve as a liaison with community partners. Satisfies Core requirement for: Cultural Diversity.