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REL560: Existentialism

What is the meaning of life? Does life have any meaning? Is traditional religion still relevant? Is God dead, or how do we live in a world where it appears God is absent?

What is the meaning of life? Does life have any meaning? Is traditional religion still relevant? Is God dead, or how do we live in a world where it appears God is absent? Focusing primarily on the 19th- and 20th-century literature of that group of writers called the existentialists, this course explores philosophical and theological issues associated with the problem of faith and meaning in today's world. Reading authors such as Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky, as well as Kafka's short stories, Sartre's novels and plays, Beckett's plays, and Camus' novels, students compare a traditional understanding of God, humanity and the world with other views that challenge, confirm or translate these concepts into terms more relevant to the contemporary world.