5. Religion and Literature (RELI 342)

When it came time for class registration for the Spring 2021 semester, I was looking for courses that would complete my Perspective level in my Civitae curriculum, when I got an email of the courses being offered by the Honors College. This course was one of them, and it covered my last Perspective requirement, so I signed up right away. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this course, and I assumed it would just be a class about the basics of religion. However, I could not have been more incorrect.

This course was packed full of different existentialist thinkers, both theistic and atheistic, and this was a part of religion I had never thought or learned about before. Although it required a lot of outside readings, it was intriguing to learn about religion through the eyes of these existentialists that I had never thought to explore before. For one of our assignments, we had to pair up with another student in the course and create a collaborative dialogue, where our characters took on the mindsets of two different existentialist thinkers. My partner chose Kierkegaard, a theistic existentialist, and I chose Nietzsche, an atheistic existentialist, and we created the dialogue below around the concept of mental health.

Although this course is not one that I would specifically utilize in my future classroom, it was still and intriguing course that allowed me to take a deeper dive into concepts of religion that I had never explored before. Because of this course, I have a better understanding of the ideas of existentialism, and its impacts on modern-day Christianity and Atheism, as well as being able to apply these concepts to issues in the world today.

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