Religious Studies | CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
R340 | 25398 | Levene, N


This course is an introduction to major issues in contemporary
religious thought, with a particular focus on the relationships
between faith and doubt, good and evil, freedom and responsibility,
love and alienation, and knowledge and uncertainty. We will be
exploring how various thinkers have struggled with these
relationships and what these struggles suggest about their concepts
of enlightenment, salvation, and truth. The starting point for the
course is the question of the relationship between God and human
beings, or more generally how concepts like faith and reason make
sense of human ideals and the ideal of humanity. But neither the
concept of God nor the concept of human being is singular or self-
evident. Through close readings of texts that pose the most
fundamental questions of existence, we will systematically trace
diverse expressions of the divine and the human, including what
happens when God is seen as lost, hidden, fictive, or entirely
absent. Thinkers likely to include Kierkegaard, Nietzsche,
Dostoevsky, Freud, Buber, Kafka, Sartre, Rilke, Derrida, and
Levinas.