This course will focus on two of Ricoeur’s essay collections, From Text to Action and Figuring the Sacred. Students will explore the general shape of Ricoeur’s heremeneutical phenomenology, including such themes as textual interpretation, action, explanation, understanding, ideology, and utopia. From there, the course will focus on Ricoeur’s thoughts concerning the disclosive force of religious texts in particular, including his understanding of the way Christian communities might best face the task of appropriating a textual heritage from which time has distanced them, and concerning which they may have lost a certain original naivety. Imagining the world with Ricoeur, we will discuss how his recommendations contribute to our effort to find meaning and inspiration amidst the crises and fragmentations that run through contemporary life. Course evaluation is weighted as follows: Class participation: 20%; Seminar Leadership: 30%; Paper: 50%.
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