Among my courses this Fall semester — starting in a little over a week — is one on theories of religion; in one way or another I’ve taught elements of a course like this many times (in fact, my intro course even touches on some of these topics), but rarely in a seminar devoted to nothing other than attempts to account for why people are religious.
Several REL classes this semester off by asking their students to pose one question about religion or its study that they’d like answered.
As you might guess, our faculty got quite an array of questions — from some that were focused on the possible links between violence and religion to queries about the origins and function of religion, and even some specific questions about why some women cover their faces in Islam, the place of cows in Hinduism, whether atheism is a religion, and the origins of Shinto in Japan.
Prof. Loewen even made us a word cloud for the questions.
So if you had just one question about religion in general, any religion in particular, or even about how to study religion in a public university, then what would it be? Pose it in the comments and we’ll try to answer it.
I’ve noticed myself stressing curiosity more and more in class and when I talk with students. Curiosity as a skill to be cultivated.
— Michael J. Altman (@MichaelJAltman) March 3, 2015