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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.

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.

2018 Fall
1 section

Comparative Religion: From Christianity to Confucianism

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

2018 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.

2018 Fall
1 section

From Hippocrates to Cognitive Neuropsychology: A History of the Study of the Mind

Learn about major developments in theories of the mind, from ancient Greece to neuropsychology.

1 section

Demons in the Ancient Near East

Through readings and art, explore the role of demons—both good and evil—in the ancient Near East.

2018 Fall
1 section

The Enigmatic Psychology of Our Dream Life

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

1 section

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: The Five Books of Moses (Torah)

Read the first five books of the Bible, tracing the processes by which they were formed and considering the multiple contexts that informed them.

2018 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?

2018 Fall
1 section

Art, Artists, and Madness

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

Augustine of Hippo: Lust, Love, and the Life Eternal

Explore the writings and life of Augustine of Hippo, and discuss his legacy on modern Christian theology and philosophy.

Food and World Religion

Explore the fascinating relationship with food, eating, and food prohibitions in several major world religions.

Goddesses in the Ancient World

Gain a greater understanding of female divinities in the ancient world, as well as their continued influence on life and religion today.

Nietzsche: His Controversial Legacy

Explore the works of Nietzsche, an important and controversial figure who continues to exert influence on contemporary writers and thinkers.

Philosophy as a Guide to Spiritual Life

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

Religious Sects, Cults, and Small Denominations

Explore American religious life from the perspective of those deemed “religious outsiders” or “cults” by the mainstream.

The Bible in Literature: Good Books Inspired by the Good Book

Explore the myriad of ways that writers have drawn from the Bible as a source for ideas.

Three Jewish Heretics: Elisha ben Abuyah, Spinoza, and Jacob Frank

Explore the lives and legacies of three prominent Jewish heretics, and examine how they have influenced Jewish tradition and philosophy.

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.

Religion and Literature: From the Bible to James Baldwin

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

Ancient Near East: Religion and Culture

Explore the history and culture of the ancient Near East, including its cultural legacy as birthplace of the Judeo-Christian religious traditions.