REL270: FAITH AND DOUBT

Explore the depth and complexity of religious experience through fiction and personal narrative. 

This course invites students to an exploration through fiction and personal narrative of the depth and complexity of religious experience in its many forms from traditional belief through skepticism. The texts we will read range from some classics in this field to contemporary cultural selections. In the past, students have read such books as Night by Elie Wiesel, Barabbas by Pär Lagerkvist, The Alphabet of Grace by former Academy School Minister Frederick Buechner, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. By reading these and other relevant texts, we will explore the timeless questions of the human condition such as self-discovery, suffering, mortality, goodness, faith and doubt, the quest for meaning, and the development of a spiritual self. At the end of the term, students will have the opportunity to expound on these themes in their own lives as they write a “mini-meditation” for their final class paper. Open to juniors and lowers.