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REL 314 Western Spirituality: Contemporary Issues (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisites: 3 credits in religion and permission of the instructor. (First semester—odd years/3 credits) 

An inquiry into leading issues in Western spirituality, including, especially, the variety of approaches to the holy or the transcendent in Western spiritualities. Texts may be drawn from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Native American sources. Typically the leading focus will be on Christian spirituality—but never exclusively. We will consider such themes as humans’ knowledge of God, the relation between the natural and the supernatural, the relation between spirituality and institutional religion, approaches to living the good life, religion and violence, spirituality and “the world,” the meaning of spirituality in the context of sacred texts, and the relation between spirituality and psychology.