Religious Studies | Studies in Religion: Interpretations of Reality
R300 | 12759 | N. Levene


The above course carries AH distribution. Meets a Critical Issues
Tradition in the major.

What is reality?

Is it what we experience every day, or is it some other thing, or
realm, or being, or perspective? Is reality what we make of it -- or
make up -- or is it some sphere or truth that exists separate from
our rational, perceptual, or imaginative powers? In this course, we
will explore interpretations of reality in literary, theological,
psychological, and philosophical texts. Our focal point will be the
religious claim that things are not, or not only, what they seem.
But we will consider the motif of being and seeming more widely,
from Hamlet's ghost to Freud's unconscious, from Descartes' demon to
Stevens' metaphysical streets, and from Kafka's law to Dillard's
god. What, we will ask, is real, and how do we know? This course
will survey interpretations of reality even as it asks us to
consider whether reality is an interpretation and what it has meant -
- and might mean -- to take it this way.