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Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

The central problem of human life is twofold: morality and mortality. Given the certainty of death, is there a meaning to life? Is there a reason for us to be ethical if death is an absolute end? The answers determine how we understand human life and how to live it meaningfully and ethically. Every great religion therefore raises and answers these questions. We will be looking at death in the Old Testament, New Testament, Ancient Greek Philosophy and in the Bhagavadgītā. We will also read from twentieth-century existential writers such as Albert Camus and Leo Tolstoy to understand how, even in a secular framework, the burden of accounting for human mortality and ethics remains. Themes include temptation and fall of Adam, the problem of evil in Job, immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and karma, and the loss of meaning and the “death of God.”

$900.00

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Course Code: HSF 6003

Credit Hours: 3

Course Level: 600

$900.00

The central problem of human life is twofold: morality and mortality. Given the certainty of death, is there a meaning to life? Is there a reason for us to be ethical if death is an absolute end? The answers determine how we understand human life and how to live it meaningfully and ethically. Every great religion therefore raises and answers these questions. We will be looking at death in the Old Testament, New Testament, Ancient Greek Philosophy and in the Bhagavadgītā. We will also read from twentieth-century existential writers such as Albert Camus and Leo Tolstoy to understand how, even in a secular framework, the burden of accounting for human mortality and ethics remains. Themes include temptation and fall of Adam, the problem of evil in Job, immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and karma, and the loss of meaning and the “death of God.”

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Description

Learning Outcomes:

This is a comparative course in the Abrahamic, Greek, and Hindu paradigms. At the end of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Understand the phenomenon of death and its importance to religion; 
  2. Interpret, analyze and critique the views on death and meaning in major religions of the world; 
  3. Show the relationship between death, salvation, and personal identity; and 
  4. Discuss and clarify philosophical arguments as they arise in these texts.

Required / Elective: Required

Faculty: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Prerequisites: Admission into a program of study

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

Additional information

Quarter Offered

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