Connections 20054. The Religious Response
Contrary to what scholars early in the 20th century predicted, religion today is playing an increasingly conspicuous role on the world stage as well as in individual lives. Both as shared tradition and as personal faith, religion is also undergoing dramatic change. In our increasingly globalized world, the changing face of religion has become a challenge to us all, whatever our own religious views may be.
But the shape of current world events need not be the only impetus for the study of religion. As far back as we can see, it has always been a major factor in human lives. It has provided the contours and texture of social life; influenced intellectual, economic and political movements as well as inspired art, architecture and music contributed fundamentally to language and literature and provided insight and meaning for the mass of humanity. In its many forms, it has been the source of great suffering and of great joy. A liberal education remains incomplete without some understanding of religion and its role in history and in individual lives.
Together, the courses constituting this connection provide a systematic overview of the world’s major religious traditions in conjunction with interpretive frameworks for understanding the nature of the religious response to the inner and outer worlds, the possible meanings of the diverse religious expressions, and the significance of religious involvement in the lives of persons today.