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REL 168
Making God Real Fall 2020
Division II

Class Details

Is God real? Are Spirits? Divine messengers? What would it mean to say “yes” to any of these questions if we don’t “believe” in supernatural beings at all? This course will explore how God(s), spirits, ancestors, and other super-human beings have been seen, heard, and felt by humans. Instead of rehearsing now tired debates between believers and skeptics, this class will combine cognitive sciences approaches to the study of religion with new perspectives on the nature of ontology–the nature of being–to examine how God and other super-human beings exist in and through their effects upon humans. From this perspective, we’ll see how, even if God(s) and other supernatural beings don’t exist in the heavens, they nevertheless act in this world through they ways that humans experience them. The puzzle for us will be, how do God(s), spirits, and/or divine messengers act? How do we feel, see, or hear beings that might not be there? What kind of reality do God(s) and spirits have in such scenarios? What is the nature of their being?
The Class: Format: seminar; Remote; synchronous learning
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 2685
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will be required to take notes on course readings, write weekly or biweekly response papers, and submit a final essay at the end of the course.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites
Enrollment Preferences: Religion Majors, Seniors
Distributions: Division II

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