C. (Christoph) Jedan, Prof Dr
My colleagues and I, we passionately believe that religion, and teaching about religion, matters. Religion is one of the most important things in people’s lives, on the individual level as well as on the collective/societal level. We need to understand religion, in order to make sense of the world and the lives we lead.
The department Christianity and the History of Ideas contributes to this mission by studying long-term cultural developments in the history of the Western world, and the crucial role that Christianity has played in it.
In my own teaching, I focus on a number of ‘big questions’ – issues that make a difference to individual lives as well as to society as a whole. For instance, how do we deal with death? To many, it seems that living in a ‘secular’ society, we cannot console each other anymore with words from the past. Silence, simply being present, may be the best strategy in this situation. However, if you look more closely at the developments in Western culture, as you do in my courses, you will find that there is an incredibly rich tradition of words against grief. This tradition has by no means come to an end. It is with us, and informs the ritual change surrounding death we witness in Western societies today. Our ways of dealing with death put into the spotlight questions that are tremendously important also at the level of our individual lives: for instance, when can we say that a life is ‘complete’, when is a life such that we can look back on it without (vicarious) regrets? How important are so-called ‘non-moral’ goods (e.g. money, health) for such a life? And, what are the implications of all this for politics?
Currently I (co)teach the following courses in the faculty’s degree programmes:
- (Beyond) Bioethics (MA)
- Contested Humanity (BA3)
- Cultural Impact of Religion (BA3)
- Ethics and Secularity (BA2)
- Filosofie als levenskunst (Premaster)
- Heritage of Death (MA)
- Philosophy of Science (ReMA)
(For a complete survey of courses taught, see OCASYS .)
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