The Big Questions
Religious Studies
First-year Course 

“Birth, puberty, and death; sex, money, and power; ethics and politics; humanity, divinity, and animality, earth and sky are all part of the religious imagination.”—Professor Hart

Professor William Hart, Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Religious Studies

Why should I take this class? Macalester takes pride in its commitment to difference and social justice. Religious identity and commitment is a conspicuous form of difference that both insinuates and crosscuts national, racial, gender, and class differences. It is a form of difference that students know least about. 

Religious affiliations and commitment motivate human behavior on the deepest levels. In religion we find people at their very best and worse. This is the great paradox of religion and why it is so important. Without an understanding of religious life, you cannot properly understand peoples’ hopes and fears, and why they do what they do.

Selected text: Religion: What it Is, Why It Works, And Why It Matters by Christian Smith

September 15 2020

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