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REL 290

Topics in Religion

Topics such as religious phenomena, e.g., Millenialism, religious ethics and historical religious figures and movements. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Spring Semester information

Justin Glessner

290A: Tps:Religion and Ecology

What is the relevance of religion to the perception and resolution of environmental problems? Answering this question requires some wrestling with the terms that constitute the course's title--religion and ecology--given their diverse and contested meanings. This course will provide habitat for all reasoned scholarly debate surrounding these terms and the relationships between them. It will examine the development of the field of "religion and ecology" and the so-called religious-environmental movement, assess various religious communities' responses to today's environmental issues, and consider historical, cultural, ecological, and scriptural/theological bases for beliefs and practices related to the environment across various traditions. We will entertain interesting hypotheses about people and their environments rather than resolve disagreements about the precise meaning, analytical value, or boundaries of phenomena that would be understood as 'religion' or 'religious' by some, but not all, observers. We will critically examine all the major religious traditions, plus such contemporary movements as ecofeminism and deep ecology, to aid you in developing a critical understanding of the power of religion to foster and impede ecologically responsible lifestyles. Guest speakers from different traditions and student research workshops will form a significant part of the class.