In recent years, definitions of "Man as the Rational Animal" have been heavily contested. Leading the way has been the work of Affect Theorists who have prioritized embodied feeling over against thin accounts of rationality. Political thought and theology are only beginning to catch up to these shifts in philosophy. But, in another sense, religious life has long been attentive not only to feeling but also to practices for the shaping of affect, liturgical, contemplative, and practices of political resistance, for example. This course will seek to think through the connections between affect, practice, and theology in conversation with a wide variety of voices including affect theory, neuroscience, animal studies and theology. How can theologians learn from these voices? What do theologians have to offer back to this conversation?

Note: Attendance at an April conference on the theme of this course held at Union is required.