Nature, Humanity, and Global Perspective

Faculteit Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap
Jaar 2022/23
Vakcode THM-NHGP5
Vaknaam Nature, Humanity, and Global Perspective
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I a

Uitgebreide vaknaam Nature, Humanity, and Global Perspectives in Modern Spirituality and Esotericism
Leerdoelen At the end of this course, students will understand the philosophical, cultural, and scientific dimensions of the concept of nature in historical perspective; will have gained knowledge and understanding of the diversity of esoteric and spiritual currents in Europe and North America, and how these have interacted with processes of colonialism and globalization; will have acquired knowledge and understanding of the pivotal role of religion in the dynamics of globalization shaping present-day societies; will have acquired knowledge and understanding regarding the conflicts and pluralistic discourses that crystallize around science, politics, religion, spirituality, and ethics on a global scale; and can formulate an argument that relates to a specific topic within this field of study.
Omschrijving Contemporary thinking consists of a pluralism of perspectives, but mainstream perspectives have strong roots in the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment periods and the ideas that emerged in those contexts regarding 'nature,' 'human nature,' 'ethics,' and the history of the planet. The world has since the 18th–19th centuries undergone rapid changes with significant developments in terms of industrialization, modernization, science and technology, and globalization, but new problems have equally emerged in relation to nature, such as sustainability, climate disruption, and mass extinction; in relation to humanity in connection with capitalism, individualism, new forms of nationalism, and the crisis of meaning; and on a global scale with cultural differences and processes of globalization. Alongside conventional thought, new perspectives continue to emerge in the field of spirituality and esotericism. Sometimes these come up as a countercurrent to mainstream thought and more established religions, thus creating tensions and potential conflicts; sometimes they become mainstream in themselves.

This course will critically introduce and analyze a number of lesser known perspectives and claimed solutions to problems that humanity and the world have been facing over the past 200 years by focusing on a range of spiritual and esoteric groups and movements. These approaches and concepts will be studied in connection with contemporary problems.

The course is designed as a collaboration between Tim Rudbøg and Sierra Humbert (University of Copenhagen) and Kocku von Stuckrad (University of Groningen) with online streaming options available. The Groningen part (5ECTS) will focus on nature, ecology, sustainability, and animistic spiritualities. Movements and perspectives discussed include those associated with Romantic philosophers, occultism, theosophy, paganism, (neo-)shamanism, the new age movement, countercultural movements, and contemporary spiritual philosophers.
Uren per week variabel
(Oral presentation of reading in class (30% of the final grade); (short) academic essay (70% of the final grade).)
Vaksoort master
Docent(en) Prof. Dr. C.K.M. von Stuckrad
  • Research master studenten kunnen deze cursus volgen maar zullen een andere cursuscode hebben: THRM-NHGP5. Om deze cursus als ResMa-student te volgen, zullen zij licht gewijzigde opdrachten uitvoeren. Dit zal worden uitgelegd in de cursusgids.
  • In geval van noodsituaties of overmacht, zoals een maatschappelijke lockdown, moeten er mogelijk wijzigingen worden aangebracht in de lesroosters, toetsing en beoordeling. De docent zal je zo snel mogelijk informeren over deze wijzigingen, mocht een dergelijke situatie zich voordoen.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Exchange programme: mastermodules 1 semester I a keuzegroep
Ma Programme Religion, Conflict and Globalisation 1 semester I a keuzegroep
Ma Programme Theology and Religious Studies (Research) 1 semester I a keuzegroep
Ma Programme Theology and Religious Studies (Research) 2 semester I a keuzegroep