CBCA 1142 The Bible and Society

What is the relationship between the Bible and society today? Whether one embraces or rejects it, the Bible is clearly one of modern society's foundational books. On the basis of key passages from this ancient text, and in conjunction with the study of a variety of intellectuals (believers and not), this course offers students the opportunity to critically explore and question the place and relevance of the Bible in our lives today. We will be investigating to what extent it remains little more than a religious relic with no claim to offer basic, integral and valuable lessons for modern society, or whether, perhaps in light of new ways of reading it, it can be reappropriated in the cause of cultural renewal. We will be trying to ascertain the validity of the argument that it is in fact the source for the basic principles upon which liberal democracy justifies itself, and also a most relevant source of practical wisdom insofar as we understand it anthropologically. Given the apparent conflicts between secular and religious visions (which we will be attempt to elucidate), we will ask whether or not one can be atheist (or of another faith) and still appreciate the Bible, in a non-contradictory, ethical, and productive way. That is, can one turn to the Bible without necessarily turning to G-d? And finally, we will want to test the notion that science and religion stand in fatal opposition.



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