|Semester and Year||SP 2012|
|Time||9:30 AM - 12:15 PM|
At least since Nietzsche, we have been hearing reports of the death of God. How, then, is religious belief still possible? Under the conditions of postmodernity, religious questions and themes about God, the good life, suffering and evil, and what being “human” means have been reclaimed and given new expression. This is the subject of this course. Most authors who might be situated as religiously postmodern write out of the Jewish and Christian traditions, for the postmodern situation arose out of those traditions. But wouldn’t a consistent postmodern ethic be one that seriously engages “religious” perspectives outside the scope of these Abrahamic traditions? Affirming this, we’ll also read Buddhist thinkers who employed philosophical therapies that exposed the error of assigning permanence where it does not reside, as in one’s self. The problem of suffering associated with reified thinking—turning processes into “things”—will serve as one guiding theme throughout our class. Other topics include: God without being; ethics without metaphysical foundations; the secular as sacred; mysticism of “unsaying;” deconstruction and shunyata (emptiness) as shared ways of reading texts and seeing the self and world as both impermanent and interdependent. To help identify some roles that power and transformation play in postmodern religious thought, this class will collaborate and share some readings with Bradley Lewis’s Foucault: Biopolitics and the Care of the Self. Course readings include: John Caputo, Derrida, Epictetus, Pierre Hadot, Thich Nhat Hahn, Heidegger, Irigaray, Kierkegaard, Levinas, David Loy, Jean-Luc Marion, Nagarjuna, Nietzsche, Nishitani, Shunyru Suzuki, and Gianni Vattimo.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)