The Idea of God
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In this course, we’ll study the idea of God using the conceptual tools of philosophy. We’ll begin in the early Middle Ages, when a new synthesis of philosophy and religion made for the first systematic theology, involving proofs for the existence of God and discussions of the nature of the divine. We’ll examine the role the idea of God plays in mysticism, science, and ethics, dipping into recent debates on atheism. Is it the same idea of God that is under discussion in each of these areas and debates? Is there a God of Nature, or is Nature God? We explore what idea of God is most suitable for the contemporary moment: a traditional one, a transformed idea—even something outlandish, such as an alien god, or a superintelligent AI divinity? Throughout, we will do our best to make space for believers, nonbelievers, and agnostics alike, and ask what each can learn from the others. Readings are likely to include Anselm, Aquinas, Eckhart, Leibniz, Hume, Nietzsche and numerous contemporary thinkers.
Classroom time will be divided between succinct lectures and seminar discussions. Students can expect to write regular reading responses and a critical essay. The program is suitable for all levels; it can work as an introduction to philosophy, as well as for more advanced students wishing to deepen their knowledge of philosophy or religion.
Students taking 8 credits will also participate in Mon/Wed writing workshops in addition to the Tuesday and Thursday meetings.
Credits per quarter
- No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.
Class Size: 25
Scheduled for: Day
Final schedule and room assignments:
First meeting:Monday, June 24, 2019 - 10:00 am
Located in: Olympia