Michelangelo, “The Creation of Adam”
Sistine Chapel, The Vatican

RELG 336: Contemporary Theological Issues (Embodied God, Incarnate Minds)
Offerings at McGill: Winter 2015

There is a growing body of evidence in the cognitive sciences (including philosophy, neuropsychology, and linguistics) that suggests there can be no thought without a brain in a body in an environment. Increasingly, the locus of human personhood is to be found not in the (disembodied) soul or mind but rather in the matter of human everydayness. The ramifications of these trends are far reaching, affecting the identity of the human being him/herself, the ontology of the divine, and the interaction there between. What implications for theology does the mind–body problem present? What might it mean to think theologically about these issues? What kinds of theological tools might we employ in exploring mind–body holism? This course will examine questions and issues such as these first by locating the mind–body problem within trajectories of Western philosophical thought and modern cognitive science, and second by exploring how theological notions of the incarnation provide a rich and robust space in which to engage—even embrace—mind–body holism. These historical, scientific, philosophical, and theological insights will finally be brought to bear on a number of contemporary social challenges posed by the mind–body problem.

McGill Description: A study of contemporary theological issues. Topic varies by year.


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RELG 336 - syllabus - 2015