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    Vassar College
  Dec 15, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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RELI 350 - Comparative Studies in Religion

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)

(Same as STS 350 ) An examination of selected themes, issues, or approaches u see in illuminating the religious dimensions and dynamics within particular cultures and societies, with attention to the benefits and limits of the comparative method.  Past seminars have focused on such topics as myth, ritual, mysticisms, and iconography.  May be taken more than once for credit when content changes.

Topic for 2017/18b: Science, Religion and Technology: Controversies and Problems: In this seminar we survey recent arguments and controversies between scientists and religious believers in the modern West.  We  investigate sources of conflict, issues that have caused tension, and different possibilities for reconciliation between the two groups.  We also examine ways of talking about science, religion and technology that go beyond the “conflict” model (science versus religion) and look instead at how these different parts of culture shape and influence one another. How have new sciences and technologies challenged and altered religious beliefs and practices?  How have religious people in turn shaped new scientific ideas?  We examine these questions by looking at specific controversial cases such as evolution/creationism, the mind/body problem, medical ethics, human cloning, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. Christopher White.

One 2-hour period.

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