This course examines the many ways in which religious traditions and individuals have understood human relationships with, and responsibilities to, the natural world. The course is divided into four units. Unit One introduces students to the three main concepts that frame and structure class: religion, environment, and ecology. Each of the next three units focuses on a specific religious tradition. Week one of each unit introduces the tradition's core history, beliefs, and practices. In week two, students learn about how each tradition's classical religious literature describes the natural world and theorizes the model human relationship to it. Finally, weeks three and four of each unit consist of case studies that examine how religious individuals today understand and interpret their own faiths to make specific arguments for ecological preservation. No previous study of either the religion or environmentalism is required.
The Capacities, The Capacities