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Grant number like: AQ-50002-09

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University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK 74104-9700)
Jacob A. Howland (Project Director: November 2008 to June 2016)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$24,994 (approved)
$24,906 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2011

Enduring Questions in the Humanities: Mortality and Meaning, God and Suffering

The development of a freshman-level undergraduate course on the interrelated issues of mortality and meaning, God and suffering.

The course envisioned is a sustained exploration and discussion of two closely related sets of core issues that concern us simply insofar as we are human: (1) Mortality and Meaning. Does death negate the meaning of a human life? Or can death give life meaning, and if so, how? What can confronting death teach us about life? (2) God and Suffering. Why do we suffer? Does the Bible help to make sense of suffering? If not, is faith still possible for a thoughtful human being? On another level, the course is an introduction to humanistic and liberating education as such. The readings tentatively selected aim to promote dialogue by tracing the lines of tension between pre-modern and modern perspectives, and between revelation and unaided reason. The readings often anticipate later issues and revisit earlier ones. They span a range of genres, including philosophical dialogues and treatises, scripture, oratory, poetry, drama, and autobiography.