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140194 VO Religious Approaches to the Problem of Suffering - Western and Asian Perspectives (2012W)

Details

Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 09.10. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 16.10. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 23.10. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 30.10. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 06.11. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 13.11. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 20.11. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 27.11. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 04.12. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 11.12. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 18.12. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 08.01. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 15.01. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 22.01. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25
Tuesday 29.01. 11:45 - 13:15 Seminarraum 1 ISTB UniCampus Hof 2 2B-O1-25

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Why do beings suffer? What is the origin and nature of suffering? Is suffering in any sense deserved?

This course seeks to introduce students to the varying responses to the problem of suffering by the major religions of the world. There are few better ways of understanding the motivating aims and ideals of world religions than by studying their responses to the common experience of suffering.

The course will begin by considering contemporary approaches to suffering, including the widespread current view that religion is itself a cause of suffering. It will then compare and contrast how the major religious traditions have examined (a) the nature and significance of suffering, (b) the different types of suffering (e.g. externally versus internally engendered suffering), (c) the conditions of its possibility, and (d) the means of its alleviation and/or cessation.

These considerations will be approached from a comparative standpoint that draws on contemporary scholarship in Philosophy, Sociology and the Philosophy/Phenomenology of Religion. The varying traditional religious responses to suffering will be considered not only in light of their relation to one another and to secular non-religious perspectives, but also in terms of their contemporary relevance.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

(1) to expose students to different religious perspectives on the problem of suffering within (a) the Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), (b) South Asian (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism), and (c) East Asian (Daoist and Confucian) traditions, with critical assessment of the validity and significance of these approaches in light of contemporary philosophical and sociological perspectives.

(2) to encourage independent inquiry and open discussion among the participants about these diverse approaches, helping them to develop their own perspectives on the problem addressed;

(3) to enable students to understand and synthesize material covered in the course and express their own ideas and questions, through in-class dialogue and individual presentations.

Examination topics

Reading list

Required Texts:

Bowker, John. Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1975.
Tiwari, Kapil N. Suffering: Indian Perspectives. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986.

Some Suggested Readings:

Amato, Joseph Anthon. Victims and Values: A History and a Theory of Suffering. New York: Praeger Books, 1990.
Cassell, Eric. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. Oxford University Press, 1991.
Coakley, Sarah, ed. Religion and the Body. Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions, vol. 8. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Delvecchio, Mary-Jo Good, Paul E. Brodwin, Byron J. Good, eds. Pain as Human Experience: An Anthropological Perspective. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
Fisher, Robert N., ed. Suffering, Death, and Identity. New York: Rodopi, 2002.
Gibbs, Robert, and Elliot R. Wolfson. Suffering Religion. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Gilbert, Paul. Human Nature and Suffering. New York: Guilford Press, 1992.
Harper, Albert W. J. The Theodicy of Suffering. San Francisco: Mellen Research Press, 1990.
Hinnells, John R., and Roy Porter, eds. Religion, Health, and Suffering. New York: Kegan Paul International, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1999.
Hinnells, John R., and Richard King. Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice.London: Routledge, 2006.
Kleinman, Arthur. Social Origins of Distress and Disease: Depression, Neurasthenia, and Pain in Modern China. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.
Kleinman, Arthur, Feena Das, and Margaret Lock, eds. Social Suffering. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
Leaman, Oliver. Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Lipman, Jonathan N., and Stevan Harrell. Violence in China: Essays in Culture and Counterculture. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990.
Mayerfield, Jamie. Suffering and Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
McTernan, Oliver. Violence in God’s Name: Religion in an Age of Conflict. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003.
O’Flaherty, Wendy Doniger, ed. Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
Rubenstein, Richard. After Auschwitz: History, Theology and Contemporary Judaism. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.
Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Smolkin, Mitchell T. Understanding Pain: Interpretation & Philosophy. Malabar, Florida: R.E. Kreiger Publishing Co., 1989.
Tambasco, Anthony, ed. The Bible on Suffering: Social and Political Implications. New York: Paulist Press, 2001.
Vries, Hent de. Religion and Violence: Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
Zysk, K. G. Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India, Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Association in the course directory

BA9, MAP2, EC3-2

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:34