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Faith and the Search for Meaning in the Modern Age

Dates: Jan. 22 | Jan. 29 | Feb. 12 | Feb. 19 | Mar. 5
Time: Fri., 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM IST

Modernity creates a host of intellectual and moral challenges for religious believers. Does the doctrine of reward in heaven mean that religious people are just as mercenary and self-absorbed as everyone else? Can we still justify objective morality and assert that some actions are right or wrong? Are all great books, religious or secular, full of ‘myths’ that can be easily or cynically debunked?

This seminar will address four topics:

  1. Religion: Why are people religious? Is the motivation of heavenly reward a selfish proposition?
  2. Morality: Is there such a thing as objective morality? If so, how can we justify such an assertion?
  3. Friendship: What is the basis and significance of friendship? How does it differ from other relationships?
  4. How do we find meaning in literature? Are all readings subjective and equally valid? Do great works promote moral and religious growth?

Readings for the course will be based on the writings of C. S. Lewis (1898-1963). While best-known for his adolescent fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis was likely the most successful popular defender of religion in the twentieth century, writing accessible yet sophisticated writings on prayer, evil, ethics, humanity, and faith.