A critical exploration of religious responses to suffering. Focal issues will include the relation of love and spiritual transformation to suffering, the role of religious models or exemplars of suffering, and religious experience and the problems of theodicy. Readings will include works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Dorothee Soelle and Simone Weil, as well as other selections drawn from the Christian, Buddhist, and Jewish traditions.
Students will be able to articulate, analyse, and critically evaluate significant themes in Hebrew, Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist responses to suffering, as these develop in various general historical phases. This includes the comprehension and appreciation of concepts and practices associated with suffering and theodicy. For specific details, see the various class handouts, “Possible Discussion Questions”, distributed for many of the readings.
A detailed course schedule is available for download.