REL 237.001

Self, Society, & Religion: Religious Existentialism

T, R | 2:00-3:15

MA 308

View Online Syllabus

This course surveys the history of a very influential school of modern, Western religious thought called religious existentialism. We will review the major texts, authors, and themes of this eclectic movement, such as texts by Kierkegaard, Buber, Levinas, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Fanon, Spivak, Derrida, Cixous and Zizek.

In this course, we will:

  • Create a safe space for learning and sharing ideas.
  • Familiarize ourselves with the existentialist approach to philosophy.
  • Closely read the texts in the existentialist genre of philosophy.
  • Formulate the key questions that may be used for existentialist inquiries.
  • Closely read contemporary texts from an existentialist perspective.
  • Apply existentialist questions to current issues in the study of religion.

Nathan R. B. Loewen

  • Office hours: 

    Please contact me by email or telephone to arrange an appointment.

  • (205) 348-5271


Kierkegaard, Soren
Fear and Trembling
Penguin Publishing Group/Penguin Classics Series, 1986

Nietzsche, Friedrich
Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1989

Derrida, Jacques
The Gift of Death: Literature in Secret
University of Chicago Press, 2008

Books are available at the SUPe Store and online through vendors such as

Online Readings

Blackboard Other texts will be available through the Blackboard course site.