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Wisdom for Life: Cultivating Self, Philosophy, and Society

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number IDSEM-UG1834
Section 001
Instructor Bradley Lewis
Days F
Time 12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



We live in a time of tremendous challenges: climate change, inequality, financial hardship, conflict, risk, rising mental illness and life style disease, and declining happiness and well being. These challenges signal the need for social and political change, but increasingly they also signal the need for personal and interpersonal change. Echoing a range of contemporary thinkers, cultural and environmental historian Thomas Berry has called the task of bringing the personal and political together the “Great Work.” This is the task of giving shape and meaning to our lives by relating personal stories to larger metanarratives of nature and culture. This course explores this idea. What does it mean to see today’s overarching challenges as opportunity for creatively reimagining ourselves and the stories we tell about ourselves? What kinds of guidance could we get from philosophical, religious, and aesthetic traditions to develop visions for human life in harmony with itself and with nature? And, perhaps most important, how might we develop personal and political strategies for putting these visions into practice for ourselves and our community?


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)