- "Books on Atheism Are Raising Hackles in Unlikely Places"
- "A Modest Proposal for a Truce on Religion"
- "When Atheists Have Their Say"
- "Taking the Debate About God Online, and Battling It Out With Videos"
- "Brawl Over Islam on Facebook"
Sacred Time and Place: At the end of Monday's session, you were asked to bookmark two of the photos you find particularly meaningful or interesting from Sacred Sites, which features the work of photographer Martin Gray. Show of your pictures to a few others and look at what they've found.
You will next look at some examples of creation stories for various religions. One of the purposes of sacred literature is to explain notions of "origin" and creation. Take a packet and work in a group of two or three students. Each group should select four stories and the Judeo-Christian story found in Genesis 1 and 2. Read the selections and jot down answers to the following questions. Your group should be prepared to show evidence of this work tomorrow.
- According to each passage, how did creation happen?
- Based on these accounts, what general conclusions can be drawn about each religion's view on the role and meaning of human life?
- How are the views of creation in the passages similar? How are they different? Do they imply different views of the purpose and role of humans in the universe?
Discussion - The New Atheism: Within the past few years, a number of widely-read critiques of religion have emerged from a group of what are frequently referred to as the "new atheists." It's worth our time to take a look at some of what they have to say. Rather than be too prescriptive, I'm going to give you a number of resources to take a look at, and then we'll discuss what you've found.
- "10 Myths - and 10 Truths - About Atheism" is a Sam Harris article from the Los Angeles Times.
- "Why Religion Must End: Interview with Sam Harris" is from BeliefNet. It's a pretty provocative interview.
- BeliefWatch - Smackdown - Lisa Miller, Newsweek
- "The God Debate" - Rick Warren and Sam Harris, Newsweek
We'll turn our attention to the religion of Hinduism for the next six sessions. You'll be expected to read in Huston Smith's The World Religions according to the schedule that will be updated on the Reading Schedule - The World's Religions page. You'll also be expected to make a blog entry for this chapter after that is posted.
Blog Entry #1 - Introduction should be posted ASAP. (Today was the requested date.)
Your Independent Assignment #1 should be completed by Tuesday, November 13th.