What do people mean when they talk about God? What is worship or veneration and what is an appropriate object of worship? What is the relationship between belief in God and evidence or argument? How can one live with and respect others whose religious beliefs differ in fundamental and ways from one's own? Is it reasonable or practicable to insist that there is or must not be a relation between religion and government? What relationship does religion have to morality? How can one worship a God who allows the innocent to suffer? This course examines a selection from among these provocative questions with the aid and materials drawn largely from monotheistic religions.
- Explore, through an investigation of writings in philosophy and the humanities, the concepts of God and religious belief.
- Understand the variation in understanding of these concepts as emerging in different historical and social contexts.
- Investigate the moral and social consequences of accepting these various understandings.
- Develop a beginning understanding of critical analysis of work in philosophy, focusing especially on the issue of whether such analyses are appropriate for claims about God or religious belief.
- Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
- Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
- Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
- Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.