L57 RelPol 245

Love and Reason

Fall 2017, M/W 10:00–11:30AM

This course offers an introduction to modern Christian thought and Western philosophy through questions and 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.

  • 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

  • Love and Reason was the perfect balance of an introductory to philosophical/religious/political thinking and an intellectually stimulating and challenging class.

    — Fall 2017