REL 212 Rel, Rhetoric, & Rationality

Prerequisites: GSTR 110

An introduction to historical and contemporary interactions among religion, rhetoric, and rationality. This course comparatively examines the nature and function of reason or rationality in religions and religious experience themselves, as well as the encounters of the religions and religious experience with various major philosophical and scientific forms of rationality. The course considers the nature and mediating role of rhetoric, as a theory of communication, in the interactions among diverse religious, philosophical, and scientific approaches to and accounts of reality, with particular attention to discourses of both domination and emancipation and how such usage of language affects and shapes discussions and disagreements about religious practices, claims, beliefs, themes, questions, and issues. This course investigates that web of relationships through various possible selected topics: the nature of religious experience and religious language; classical and contemporary concepts of and discussions about the reality and nature of sacred reality; competing cosmologies; the nature of the human self; the question of human freedom; religion and moral experience; traditional and revised formulations of the problem of evil; religion and science; the character and issues of religious pluralism; etc. Religion Perspective.


1 Course Credit