Religion at Ground Zero

Code: TH556

Dates: July 1, 2024 - July 5, 2024

Time: 9:00 am for 3 hours

Where was God when this happened?! How can religious people commit such atrocities?! What can a religious leader say after such a horrendous event?!

This course explores such questions by analyzing theological responses to human tragedy and cultural shock. Discussion will attend to issues of theodicy, religious terrorism and natural disasters through the perspectives of systematic theology, ethics, and practical theology. The course focuses on popular reactions to the terrorist attacks on the USA in 2001, but includes attention to the First World War, the Holocaust, Fukushima, contemporary terrorism, and the COVID-10 pandemic. Attention will be given to themes such as the meaning of suffering, the function of religious discourse in the face of tragedy, the nature of ideology, and the relationship between religion and violence. The course concludes by moving from these analyses to an exploration of the peril and promise of speaking of God in times of terror. The class format involves a combination of lectures and seminar discussions. Assessment includes class participation and a research paper. 

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