The Human & The Divine

The writer Franz Kafka said:
“A book must be an ax for the frozen sea within us.” He meant to affirm that we
have inner lives, and it’s difficult for many people to reach into their inner
thoughts, aspirations, and imaginations. And Kafka meant that storytelling
helps us dive below the surface and see the nature of our deepest humanity: our
capacity, for compassion, ethics, morality and
the ways people relate to their own selves and to other people.
Some stories like that also explore the link between
our capacity to be fully human and the presence mystery, in some cases called
“magic” and in other called “the divine.”


This course explores these
issues through stories and films. The course is not about a particular
religion. The course begins and ends with questions, just as the works we read
and see will not preach or even reach conclusions.


The learning in the course
is focused on conversations and dialogue among students. Therefore, it requires
active engagement every day of class and attendance is mandatory.



  • Attendance and participation
  • Midterm and final papers
  • Blog comments every week



            To be announced. Check with instructor on first day for