Ethics, Imagination, and the Art of Living

REL 931
Spring 2018
M 6:00 - 8:00pm
Area II, Area V
MDIV Requirements: 
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This seminar examines the relationship between our capacities of imagination and the quality of our ethical lives. Through the writings of Howard Thurman, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison, we examine the role of imagination and perception in our attempts to love, listen, and live well.

(1) To identify the dangers and difficulties of loving, listening, and living well.  

(2) To gain a critical understanding of the role of imagination in ethical and moral life.  

(3) To consider the ways in which literature can instruct and expand our capacities of moral imagination.

(4) To reflect on the consequences (for Christian and philosophical ethics) of acknowledging the insights of black literary sources in particular and the experiences of African Americans in general.  

Background Expected: 


Course Requirements: 

Students are expected to read diligently for seminar sessions, participate actively in online and classroom discussions, lead a class discussion (based on carefully selected themes and passages), and submit a final essay.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Participation: 15%    Presentation: 15%   Online Responses: 20%    Final Essay: 50%