Tuesday, August 01, 2017


I think it's happening - MOOC-enhanced "Theorizing Religion." I've mapped out a way we can spend four weeks (starting week 3) building a class knowledge of actual world religions and presenting our findings, all in a counterpoint with four classes I'll lead about classic theories, each culminating in a close reading of a passage in class. The historical sequence will go Hume (with early comparative religion and its politics), Schleiermacher (with the gendering of the invention of religion and the private sphere) and Feuerbach (a chance to talk about theology, anthropology and the "atheism" of religious experience). The texts discussed will be available to students, but their assigned work for these weeks will be the MOOCs, on which they'll give a report each of the four weeks, before a broader discussion of what religious literacy is, what "world religions" are, and how one extrapolates from knowledge of one tradition to others. I imagine the two threads - growing knowledge of Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity and of the "invention of religion' by modern theorists - might braid nicely as we go.

The first "classic text" students have to prepare for class will be Marx!

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