“Were I to teach a course on God, I would begin with a plate of persimmons…” Nancy Shaffer, Instructions in Joy.
Speaking of the source, naming the numinous, responding to the Spirit, tracing the face of mystery…these are the tasks of the thea/ologian and the poet. The “thea/ological quest” engages the heart and the mind, embraces observation and intuition, language and silence, and responds to the cry of human suffering and oppression. In this course we will read some theologians who speak of God; we will explore the place of metaphor and symbol in thea/ology; and reflect on the meaning of experiential encounters with the holy. We will honor the pursuit of intellectual clarity and critical analysis as modes of relating to the divine mystery. We will ask: Does God (whatever we mean by God) exist? This course will not “master divinity” or exhaust the questions. Some attention will be given to the distinctive issues around speaking of God in the context of Unitarian Universalism. Limited Skype attendance allowed.