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Cosmology

Marcus Aurelius observed that “He who does not know what the world is does not know where he is, and he who does not know for what purpose the world exists, does not know who he is, nor what the world is.” In recent history, our understanding of cosmology has been dominated by stunning scientific discoveries focusing on the role of physical laws in governing the evolution of the universe. But what does this new story of the universe mean? Cultural observers note that as a species we are experiencing a cosmological crisis, no longer clear about our place and role in the universe, and as a result are facing some of the greatest ethical challenges in our history.

This one-term religion course examines several cosmological models and their ethical implications, including both the biblical model and the emerging universe story, which reflects on the wisdom of science. Other cosmological models, such as Hindu, Aristotelian/Ptolemaic, and Aboriginal/Indigenous may be examined as time allows.

Open to: Juniors and seniors