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    Vassar College
  Jan 19, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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STS 350 - Comparative Studies in Religion

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)

(Same as RELI 350 ) In this course we examine closely religious rituals and how they are used to understand or approach the divine. We focus in particular on ritual prayer, meditation, spirit possession and other practices of listening or speaking to God(s).  The course examines these practices across a number of cultures and religious traditions.

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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