REL 102 Fall 2012 Sin, Danger, Darkness and Disease: Conceptualizing Evil and Misfortune in the Abrahamic Traditions

How do religious traditions cope with the problem of evil when they conceptualize their God as beneficent, omniscient and omnipotent? This classic question haunts every monotheism. This course will focus on this problem in Judaism and Christianity, with some attention to Islam as well, and will also consider post-religious variations on the theme. We will consider both philosophical accounts beginning in the Hebrew Bible with Job and Ecclesiastes and move forward through rabbinic texts and Saint Augustine; taking stock of the medievals in all three traditions, moving into early modernity with Leibniz and will treat as well modern transformations of this question in thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, Kafka, Blanchot and Susan Sontag.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: several short response papers and a take-home exam
Additional Info: This course is a part of the 2012-13 Gaudino Initiative on Danger and will be co-taught by Ryan Coyne and Sarah Hammerschlag.
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 40
Class Number: 1672
REL102-01(F) LEC Conceptualizing Evil Division 2: Social Studies Sarah E. Hammerschlag
, Ryan D. Coyne
MWF 11:00 AM-11:50 AM Griffin 2 1672
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