Religion and the Life Cycle

Course Schedule



Due for the day on which they are listed



Readings due for the day on which they are listed





Religious Dimensions of Human Experience



William James

Week One

Aug 28:  Introduction to the Course

What is Religion?


Aug 30:  Religious Experience”



Š      William James, Circumscription of the Topic [BB] [SRQ01]

Sept 01:  (continued)




Paul Tillich

Week Two

Sept 04:  No class (Labor Day)


Sept 06: Faith and Ultimate Concern


Š      Paul Tillich,  What Faith Is [BB] [SRQ02]

Sept 08: (continued)




David Tracy

Week Three

Sept 11: Limit Experiences

Š      David Tracy, The Religious Dimension of Common Human Experience and Language [BB] [SRQ03]


Sept 13: (continued)


Sept 15:  What is Religion?


Š      Clark, What is Religion? [BB]





Erikson’s Whole Life Perspective



Erikson’s Theory

Week Four

Sept 18:  Erikson’s Eight Stage Theory


Essay 01 posted


Š      Wright, Left-Handed Knowing [BB] [SRQ04]

Š      [Recommended] Erik Erikson, Relevance and Relativity in the Case History, in C&S


Sept 20: (continued)

Š      Erik Erikson, Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations,  pp. 111-134 (A schedule of Virtues);  pp. 152-157. [BB] [SRQ05]

Sept 22:  (continued)



Bergman’s Wild Strawberries

Week Five

Sept 25: Wild Strawberries, by Ingmar Bergman



Essay 01 due today
(submit to google doc file by midnight)


Autobiography assignment posted today


Sept 27: (continued)





Sept 29:  No class (prof at conference)



Week Six

Oct 02: Dream Analysis 1: The Clock, the Coffin               and the Corpse


Š      Wild Strawberries, pp. 23-55 [BB]


Discussion Questions 1
Due before class today

Oct 04: Dream Analysis 2

Š      Wild Strawberries, pp. 55-82 [BB]


Discussion Questions 2

 Due before class today


Oct 06: Tucking up


Š      Wild Strawberries, pp. 82-95 [BB]


Discussion Questions 3

Due in class today




Week Seven

Oct 09: No class (Fall reading days)


Oct 11: Erikson on Dr. Borg’s Life Cycle





Š      Erikson, Reflections on Dr. Borg’s Life Cycle [SQR06]

o   All of Section I  (pp. 1-17)

o   Section II, parts 4-6 (pp. 22-28)

Review the life-cycle chart on p. 22; and summarize pp. 23-28 only.





Religion and Childhood




Oct 13:   Childhood Experience and

                  the Virtues of Hope and Will


Š      Erikson, C&S CH. 7, section 1 [SRQ07]

Š      Wright, Becoming as Children  [SRQ08]



Week Eight

Oct 16: Toys and Reasons

Š      Erikson, Toys and Reasons (C&S), C&S Chapter 6 [SRQ09]

Oct 18: Signals of Transcendence in Childhood



Š      Wright, The Religious Dimension, pp. 148-164 [SRQ10]

Oct 20: The Formation of the Image of God


Š      Rizzuto, “Object Relations and the Formation of the Image of God” [BB] [SRQ11]


Week Nine

Oct 23: Religion and the Imagination


Š      Pruyser, Forms and Functions of the Imagination in Religion [SRQ12]

Oct 25: (continued)



Oct 27:  (continued)

Essay 02 posted







Mid-Life Religiosity





Week Ten

Oct 30: Midlife, limitations, and Meaning



Š      Erikson, C&S, Ch. 7, sections 6 & 7 [SRQ 13]

Š      Fuller, Values and Midlife Transitions
[SQR 14]




Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning



Nov 01: Experiences in a Concentration Camp


Frankl, Section I, [SQR 15]

Nov  03:  Logotherapy in a Nutshell


Frankl, Section II, [SQR 16]



Week Eleven


No class: Meckel at Conference

Essay 02 due by Nov 11, first light
(submit to google doc file)





Maslow’s Religion, Values and Peak Experiences


Week Twelve

Nov 13: Transcendent Experiences

Š      Maslow, Chs. 1-4 [SRQ 17]


Nov 15: The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

Š      Maslow, Chs. 5-8 [SRQ 18]

Nov 17: Mysticism


Š      James, Mysticism [SQR19]



Week Thirteen

Nov 20-24: No class  (Thanksgiving break)

Essay 03 posted





Old Age



Week Fourrteen

Nov 27:  Iris (1)


Š      Erikson, C&S, Ch.  7, section 8 [SQR20]

Š      Fuller, Aging, Dying, and Integrity, pp.  74-81
[SQR 21]

Nov 29:  Iris (2)


Dec 01: Hope, Integrity and Wisdom in the face of death


Iris Discussion Question 1






Iris Murdoch and the Film Iris

Week Fifteen

Dec 04:  Discussion of Iris and Borg


Essay 03 due by Dec 04, first light
(submit to google doc file)


Iris Discussion Question 2



Š      Fuller, Ibid., pp. 81-86


Dec 06:  Confronting Death and Dying – Kubler-Ross



Š      Fuller, Ibid., pp. 86-91


Dec 08: Beyond the Life Cycle?


Š      Fuller, Ibid., pp. 91-95