Dec 05, 2023  
2024 January Term Course Catalog 
2024 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 206 - Stories of the Universe: Making Meaning and Finding Purpose Together

Type:  In-Person

Course Meeting Days & Times:  MTThF, 12:00 PM-2:30 PM


Instructor(s): Hughes, Sheila Hassell


Fee: $20


Course Description:  What does it mean to be human in the 21st Century, and what will it mean a few decades from now, as rapidly shifting technologies impact every aspect of our lives and consciousness? How can we make sense of our place in the world, and gain a deep sense of purpose and direction, when we can’t even keep up with what is happening around and to us? This crux, what some have called the “techno-social dilemma,” presents a profound challenge, but it’s one we have resources to address. In this course, we will explore origin and orienting stories from different cultural and religious sources, to consider the ways they have lent purpose to human life. We will also consider how the disciplines of science have framed narratives of earthly and human origins in ways that, along with rapid technological change, have profoundly disrupted traditional narratives. And we’ll consider the ways some scientists and thinkers today are working to reconcile these conflicts through a “third story of the universe” that finds purpose and hope in the narrative of evolution, and specifically, the evolution of human consciousness. 

Prerequisites & Notes

Credits: 3

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