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UA REL 372 - REL 372 Syllabus

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REL 372 Nietzsche on Religion Spring 2006 Dr. Tim Murphy Office: 209 Manly Hall Office hours: Wednesdays, 11-12, or by appointment Phone/voicemail: 348-8513 Email: [email protected] Dept. webpage: http://www.as.ua.edu/rel/ Description: Among his many concerns, the in/famous philosopher, who notoriously proclaimed that “God is dead, and we have killed him,” wrote a great deal about religion. This course will use his writings on religion as a window into his well established insights into the study of society, language, politics, culture, and religion. As an “applied” aspect of that endeavor, we will both engage in the task of interpretation and spend a significant amount of time reflecting on that task—both as we understand it and as Nietzsche and his commentators understood that task. Goals: 1) to acquaint students with Nietzsche’s major writings; 2) to introduce students to the conceptual dimensions and problematics of interpreting complex texts; 3) to improve the exegetical and critical thinking skills of students; 4) to provide students with conceptual tools which can be applied to a broad range of social and cultural phenomena. Format: discussion, with some supplemental lectures. Assignments: Student readings, attendance & participation 200pts Unit papers 3x 100 300pts Total 500pts Final grade: Your final grade will be based on a straight percentage of the point total. 90%+ = A; 80%+ = B; 70%+ = C; 60%+ = D; 59%- = F. I do use +/-‘s. Description of assignments: “Readings.” Each student will initiate discussion on a given aphorism or section of the primary reading by offering their reading of that text on a rotating basis. A complete explanation of this will be given in class. The goal is to raise questions and issues found in the reading, more on the model of a conversation about the text than on the model of a formal presentation—though rigor is important. Attendance in class and participation in discussion is part of the grade for this course. Just because you do not have a reading on a given day does not excuse you from attending class, doing the reading, or engaging in conversation. Unit Papers. There will be a 4-5 page thematic paper over the material in Units I, Unit II, Units III & IV of the same format. More instructions later.Required texts: The Gay Science; Beyond Good and Evil; Genealogy of Morals; Twilight of the Idols/The Antichrist; Thus Spake Zarathustra. Students are not required to purchase any particular edition of these books. Recommended texts: Murphy, Nietzsche, Metaphor, Religion; The Will to Power. Some readings will be in pdf form on the course webpage. Many readings can also be found online at: http://www.geocities.com/thenietzschechannel/. Late papers: late take-home exams and essays will be penalized by one letter grade. The only exceptions are documentable emergencies or illnesses. Disabilities: Students with documented physical and/or learning disabilities should contact the professor as soon as possible to provide copies of their documentation and to discuss the reasonable accommodations that can be made to meet their needs. Contact Disability Services as soon as possible, which is located in 111 Osband Hall (348-5175). Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and amounts to using the work of another without proper acknowledgement. If a student is caught committing plagiarism, whether from the work of a classmate, published author, or internet cite, they will receive a grade of zero for that assignment and may be subject to punishment from the Dean’s Office. Please ensure that you properly cite all quoted and paraphrased material. Appealing Grades: In order to appeal a grade, you MUST do the following: submit to me a written statement, as detailed as possible (within reason) of exactly what you think should be changed and why. I will review it, and, if necessary, ask to meet with you. I will then return the assignment back to you, noting whatever change has or has not been made. I reserve the right to review the exam as a whole, and I also reserve the right to change the grade downward if I deem that necessary upon further review.Schedule of Lectures, Readings, and Assignments Week #1 Th Jan. 12 Introduction and Syllabus. Reading: start reading selections from Dawn on course webpage. Week #2 T Jan. 17 Overview: reading Nietzsche writing; against the arche-text. Recommended reading: Murphy, Chapter 1 and “The Hermeneutical Circle” by Gadamer (on course webpage). Unit I Th Jan. 19 Dawn, sections (pdf). Recommended reading: Ricoeur pdf. Week #3 T Jan. 24 Dawn, sections. Th Jan. 26 Human, All-too Human, “The Religious Life” (pdf). Week #4 T Jan. 31 Human, All-too Human, continued. Th Feb. 2 Gay Science, Preface to the Second Edition and Book II. Week #5 T Feb. 7 Gay Science, Book Three. Th Feb. 9 Gay Science, Book Three. Week #6 T Feb. 14 Gay Science, sections from Books One, Four, and Five as chosen by students. Recommended reading: the rest of The Gay Science Th Feb. 16 “On Truth and Lie” (pdf): lecture on Nietzschean metaphor and language. Recommended reading: Murphy, chapters 2 & 3. Unit II Week #7 T Feb. 21 Beyond Good and Evil, “On the Prejudices of Philosophers.” Unit papers due in class. No student “readings.” Th Feb. 23 Beyond Good and Evil, “The Free Spirit.” Week #8 T Feb. 28 Beyond Good and Evil, “What is Religious.” Th March 2 Beyond Good and Evil, “What is Religious.” Recommended reading: the rest of Beyond Good and Evil. Week #9T March 7 Genealogy of Morals, First Essay. Recommended reading: Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” essay on course webpage. Th March 9 Genealogy of Morals, First Essay. Week #10 T March 14 Genealogy of Morals, Second Essay. Recommended reading: Nehamas chapter on course webpage and selections from The Will to Power (tba). Th March 16 Genealogy of Morals, Second Essay. Week #11 Spring Break “everybody’s gone surfin’…” T March 21 & Th March 23 Week #12 T March 28 Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay. Th March 30 Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay. Unit III Week #13 (Honor’s Week) T April 4 Twilight of the Idols. Read: Foreword, ‘Reason’ in Philosophy, How the ‘Real World’ at last Became a Myth (or Lie). Recommended reading: Maxims & Arrows and the Problem of Socrates. Unit


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