GS204 – Spirit and Nature: Religion and Science
Come and explore the realms of spirit and nature, and within those realms the human spirit and human nature. Examine where good and evil are to be found. Study the parallels and differences between religion and science. Discover meaningful relationships between 1)the natural and the supernatural; 2)natural history and natural theology; 3)immanence and transcendence; 4)the animate and the inanimate; 5)the sacred and the secular. Consider how a person of integrity can be both religious and scientific. Explore our world in both natural and religious settings. Become aware of the diversity of life, and of religions, and look for ways to nurture and protect both diversities. Come away looking at our world and all its components, including the spiritual and the natural, in new and different ways. The course will trace the development of the theory of evolution in 19th century Victorian England by both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace and consider the response to the theory in both scientific and religious circles, both then and now. There will be re-enactments of meetings of the Royal Society of England in response to the publication of The Origin of Species and debates in those meetings. We will explore faith and the plurality of religions through Paul Tillich's Dynamics of Faith and Diana Eck's Encountering God, consider The Sacred Depths of Nature with Ursula Goodenough, reflect on human-human and human nature interactions and the nature of evil with the aid of Rosemary Reuther's Gala and God and Lance Morrow's Evil: An Investigation, experience different religious communities, and read and recite nature poetry. Field projects (with on-and off-trail hiking) will include exploring 1)bio-diversity in the San Luis Valley, and 2)the geologic history of the Garden of the Gods and Queen's Canyon. We will be participating in a community service learning project surveying parts of the newly-developed Cheyenne Mountain State Park for signs of wildlife. Class will be held at the Baca campus for one week during Block 1. (Not offered 2020-21).