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Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion

  • Expresses Complex Ideas
  • Debates Conflicting Perspectives
  • Provides Historic Contexts

These courses explore life’s greatest questions by discussing classic and modern philosophers, psychology, and world religions. They develop skills to express complex ideas, challenge orthodoxy, and expose underlying assumptions.

Comparative Religion: From Christianity to Confucianism

Navigate the theory of religion and examine the ideals of six world religions.

2017 Fall
1 section

Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion in Today's World

To counter modern-day life’s intrusions upon our attention and humanity, explore the principles and practices of mindfulness and compassion.

2017 Fall
1 section

Dreaming: Its Psychology, Its Meaning

Explore Western culture’s psychological theories of dreaming, and look at current research about how dreaming functions and what it means.

2017 Fall
1 section

Judaism and Christian Origins

Explore the period that led to the emergence of Christianity and Second Temple Judaism—its history, literature, and religious communities.

2017 Fall
1 section

Plato's Republic

Study Plato’s Republic, a work of monumental scope and significance that presents his conception of the ideal city-state.

2017 Fall
1 section

Sin and Sex in the Biblical World

Examine human relationships in the Bible and the ancient world, including gender roles, power, forbidden sexuality, and consequences for deviation.

2017 Fall
1 section

The Philosophy of Art

Explore timeless questions about art from a philosophical perspective: What is the significance of art? How is it meant to be understood?

2017 Fall
1 section

Women in the Ancient Near East

Explore the varied ways that the position of women was defined in the ancient Near East, including in Israel, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and Sumer.

2017 Fall
1 section

Philosophy as a Guide to Spiritual Life

Consider some ways that philosophy distinguishes itself from religion as a guide to spiritual life.

2017 Summer
1 section

Tibetan Meditation: Bringing Meaning to Every Moment

Explore how the Mahayana Buddhist concepts of compassion and wisdom can serve as the basis for a healthy, happy, and meaningful life.

2017 Summer
2 sections

From Apocalypse to Zombie: The End of the World in Religion, History, and Culture

Explore how religion, art, and popular culture have reflected humanity’s fears of the end of time throughout history.

2017 Summer
1 section

Art, Artists, and Madness

Discover various psychological approaches to art and artists throughout history, and explore the psychology of three iconic artists.

East Meets West: Major Thinkers of India and China

Discover how Eastern philosophy confronts many of the same existential questions found in the West.

Hannah Arendt: A Philosopher in Dark Times

Read and discuss Arendt’s work, and discover her continued relevance to contemporary political, moral, and intellectual life.

Human Rights: Relativism and Universalism

Explore the conflicting philosophies surrounding the expansion of human rights and the repercussions of this debate in contemporary issues.

Introduction to the New Testament

Explore the New Testament in light of historical, sociological, and literary contexts, both ancient and contemporary.

Introduction to the Old Testament: From Psalms to Chronicles

Examine the “writings,” the last part of the Hebrew Bible, within historical, sociological, and literary contexts.

Psychology and Religion

Explore the contributions that psychology, and particularly psychoanalysis, can make to an understanding of religion.

Religion and Literature

Explore themes—love, death, evil, suffering, and forgiveness—across religious and literary texts from the Western canon and beyond.