Religion and Reason

In fall 2020, I taught two sections of a large undergraduate course cross-listed in the Departments of Religion and Philosophy at Princeton University called “Religion and Reason” with Denys Turner. The course was intended for first and second year students, and the topics included epistemology, theology, and science. Some readings students were assigned during the course included works by Meister Eckhart, William James, and Ludwig Feuerbach. Secondary sources included Linda Zagzebski’s Philosophy of Religion: An Historical Introduction.

This course was conducted online, which gave me the opportunity to further integrate digital humanities approaches into my teaching. My students participated asynchronously and synchronously through a mix of activities, including collaborative document annotation, shared discussion forums, chat-based group work, and small group discussion sessions held online.

Teaching this course was of special interest to me, because as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia I began studying philosophy and only afterward began studying religion. Just as at Princeton, the two departments at UGA are housed in the same building. Despite that physical proximity (and so much else shared intellectual ground), it seemed to me that crossover interest was unusual. I think this course serves as a bridge between the two departments for my own undergraduate students because the broadly conceived categories ‘religion’ and ‘reason’ go beyond typical departmental boundaries that might apply to, for example, a course billed more narrowly as philosophy of religion.