L57 RelPol 245

Love and Reason

Spring 2020, M/W 11:30AM–12:50PM

This course offers an introduction to modern Christian thought and Western philosophy through themes of love and reason.

WUCRSL
line drawing of three people teaching superimposed on each other
Biography

Love often seems dramatically unreasonable, and reason can seem coldly rational in a way that excludes any emotion, passion, or affiliation even akin to love. The supposed opposition between love and reason has been used by Christian and secular thinkers throughout modernity to organize ways of knowing and judging, and to criticize claims of faith, belief, and desire. But are love and reason really so distinct? What does it mean to say so, and why might someone make this claim? Can love be reasoned, and even reasonable? Can reason be aided by love, and even driven by it? How might different answers to these questions affect our understanding of other possibly unreasoned categories like faith, belief, and piety? This course offers an introduction to modern Christian thought and Western philosophy through these questions and themes.

Course history:

  • Fall 2017: taught by Prof. Fannie Bialek
  • Professor Bialek's lectures were the most engaging lectures I have ever attended. They included just the right amount of class participation while still providing important information in a way that made you want to listen.

    — Spring 2020

  • The class provides good insight into philosophy and religion. It requires you to constantly ask yourself what the author is trying to express, a skill that is useful for students of all majors to develop.

    — Fall 2017