An event every week that begins at 6:00pm on Thursday, repeating until March 8, 2018
The fourth of our seven principles states that UU congregations should affirm and promote the “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” How should we, as individuals and as a community, understand this free and responsible search, particularly when it comes to questions of spirituality and religion? Philosophy of religion offers invaluable tools and insights for critical and creative reflection on the big questions of spirituality and religion. This three-session course will serve as an introduction to some of the central themes, ideas, controversies, and tools of philosophy of religion.
Session 1: Ultimacy
Session one will take issues of utlimacy. Is there a religiously significant ultimate reality? What are some traditional (and contemporary) arguments for or against this idea? What are some different ways of thinking about the ultimate? What (if anything) should be our ultimate concern?
Session 2: Experience
In session two we will explore issues of religious experience. What are religious experiences? Are there different kinds? Should we take them seriously? Are there practices that can cultivate or evoke religious experiences? Can science (neuroscience or psychology) study religious experiences?
Session 3: Engagement
Session three will concern issues of engagement. Can religion or spirituality shape our ethical (and social, political, ecological) engagement with the world? Should it? How should we think about and engage with religious diversity?
Matthew MacKenzie is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University, where he has taught since 2008. His teaching and research are in the areas of classical Indian philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. He and his family have attended Foothills since fall of 2016. In his free time he enjoys cooking, getting outdoors, and lightsaber battles with his sons Quinn and Reid.
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