Religion, Identity and the Self
- Anthea Butler and Justin Mcdaniel
- College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
First-Year Seminar Grant
The rise of the “nones”, people that do not identify as belonging to one religious tradition coupled with alternative forms of “spirituality” (self-help, yoga, martial arts, meditation and wellness practices, paranormal and occult practices, etc.) have dismantled links between religious tradition and cultural identity for many people. These spiritual practices reside outside of “traditional” religious systems, and promote self-transformation, self-fashioning, and self-awareness , outside of religious traditions’ focus on community building, shared beliefs, and standardized creeds. This course explores spirituality and how identity and community have changed over the 20th and 21 century. The course seminar format will include discussions/debates between Professors Butler and McDaniel, guest speakers from fields such as psychology/neuroscience, ethnic studies, environmental science, computer science, literature, and gender and sexuality studies.