THEO-001 The Problem of God
Fall for 2016-2017
An examination of the religious dimension of human experience and consciousness in relation to a number of problems and challenges: the problem of knowledge; the relation of faith and reason; various historical, social and existential determinants of belief; the challenge of atheism and humanism; the impact of secularization on religion.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: Slater M (file download)
Fall '16: Danner, K (file download)
Fall '16: Ruf F (description, file download)
Fall '16: Yeager D (description)
Fall '16: Hentz, O (file download)
Fall '16: Yeager D (description, file download)
Fall '16: Phan, P (description, file download)
Fall '16: Phan, P (file download)
Fall '16: Cline E (file download)
Fall '16: Lefebure (file download)
Fall '16: Toom, T. (description, file download)
Fall '16: Lefebure, L (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.

Sections:

THEO-001-04 The Problem of God
Spring for 2016-2017
Faculty:
This is a course that grapples with deep and difficult questions about life, meaning purpose and fulfillment. In other words, it explores the notion of God and fundamental aspects of belief in such a being. The course explores questions pertaining to the concept, nature, existence and efficacy of God. We will look at some essential foundations of theistic belief, the nature and purpose of theological language and also explore some of the traditional arguments that both support and challenge belief in the existence of a loving, all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing deity. To do so we will explore not just philosophical and theological sources but also particular existential questions and approaches. What many believe to be the core challenge to belief in God – the problem and extent of suffering and evil in the world will be the focus of a number of classes, including with reference to classic explorations of such problems from religious and philosophical texts, as well as from literature and film. We will look at accounts of experiences of crises of faith as well accounts of extraordinary religious experience. We will also encounter varieties of atheistic argumentation including the so-called ‘new atheists’ such as Richard Dawkins.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
THEO-001-13 The Problem of God
Spring for 2016-2017
Faculty:
This is a course in theology, not philosophy of religion or religious studies. It does not simply describe and analyze religious problems but also raises the question of truth of various religious traditions. The course will deal with the following questions:

I Is there “religious experience” or “mystical experience? If yes, what is it and what forms does it take? Can humans live a meaningful and moral life without believing in God? Is there eternal life after death? Is the existence of God a matter of faith or can it be “proved” by reason? Are the proofs for God’s existence convincing? Is the existence of evil a refutation of God’s love and omnipotence? Are reason and faith mutually contradictory?

II. What does the Hindu text The Bhagavad Gita teach about human beings and about how they should relate to Brahman (God)? Can God manifest Godself in a human form (Krishna)? What does the text teach about the paths of knowledge, action, and devotion?

III. Who was the Buddha? What does the Buddhist text The Dhammapada teach about ethical and religious values that should guide human living? What is its view on suffering, desire, and enlightenment? Does it mention God at all? Do Buddhists believe in God? What makes a Buddhist monk?

IV. What does the Jewish Scripture (the TANAK) teach about God and God’s covenant with the people of Israel? Who was a prophet? How did God act toward Israel? What must be Israel’s response to God?

V. Who was Jesus of Nazareth and what does he teach about God and God’s reign/kingdom? What does he teach about how we should live? What is a parable? Did Jesus perform miracle? Why was he killed? Is he still alive today? Who is God for the Christians?

VI. What is the Qur’an and what was the role of Mohammad in transmitting God’s revelation? What are the basic duties of Muslims? Who is God for the Muslims? Does Islam foment violence? Does it force people to convert to its faith and live as Muslims?

VII. How can religions help resolve some of the issues facing us today such as war and violence, extreme poverty, political oppression, the role of woman in the family and society, ecological destruction, cosmic evolution, etc.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
THEO-001-20 The Problem of God
Fall for 2016-2017
Faculty:
Why do some people believe in God? Why don’t others? How does one’s cultural location shape one’s faith or views of religion? This course explores individual and communal religious experience, sacred texts and religious practices; arguments for and against the existence of God and; questions relating to the nature of God and human suffering. Multiple disciplinary lenses are used to understand the religious dimension of human experience and students are expected to build a learning community through active engagement with course material and peers.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
THEO-001-29 The Problem of God
Fall for 2016-2017
Drawing on theology, philosophy, literature, visual art and film, this course explores the ethical and political implications of the question W.E.B. Du Bois raised in The Souls of Black Folk: “How does it feel to be a problem?” The question underscores what Lewis R. Gordon calls the “hermeneutical turn” in Du Bois’s search to find meaning in the world behind the veil of blackness. The course will explore the varying degrees to which Du Bois’s question shapes the epistemic terrain of twentieth-century African American religion and sheds light on contemporary existential concerns facing human flourishing.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
THEO-001-70 The Problem of God
Fall for 2016-2017
An examination of the religious dimension of human experience and consciousness in relation to a number of problems and challenges: the problem of knowledge; the relation of faith and reason; various historical, social and existential determinants of belief; the challenge of atheism and humanism; the impact of secularization on religion.

This course is for SFS-Qatar students only.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
THEO-001-71 The Problem of God
Spring for 2016-2017
Faculty:
An examination of the religious dimension of human experience and consciousness in relation to a number of problems and challenges: the problem of knowledge; the relation of faith and reason; various historical, social and existential determinants of belief; the challenge of atheism and humanism; the impact of secularization on religion.

This course is for SFS-Qatar students only.
Credits: 3.00
Prerequisites: None
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.