|6||Man, God, and Society in Western Literature||Perry||MTuWTh 2-4||TBA|
This course explores the relationship between humanity and the divine through classics of the Western literary canon – i.e. drawn from the Abrahamic religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We’ll read a variety of texts both sacred and secular, philosophic and poetical, ancient and modern, including selections from Augustine of Hippo, Judah Halevi, al-Ghazali, Ibn Tufail, Maimonides, Julian of Norwich, John Donne, John Milton, William Blake, Søren Kierkegaard, Richard Wagner, and Simone Weil. Questions to be discussed include: in virtue of what does an experience count as religious? what is conversion, and how does it differ from other fundamental shifts in one’s beliefs (if at all)? whence sin and suffering, what problem do they present for the relationship between man and God? what does it mean to be alienated from God, and how might reconciliation be brought about? what does it mean to live in a secular society, and what are the implications for religious life today?