Radical Mythospeculation: Cosmic Evolution and Deep History

School of Consciousness and Transformation PARP 6667 3.00

This course essentially combines and brings into dialogue two long-time core courses of the PCC curriculum, Brian Swimme's Epic of the Universe and Richard Tarnas's Brief History of Western Thought. The lecture course will be interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary, as we examine both the evolution of our cosmos and the evolution of our civilization's cosmology. "Radical mythospeculation" is the term that the sociologist and historian Robert Bellah, drawing on an insight of Eric Voegelin, used to describe an important phenomenon in the history of human thought, when the evolution of symbolic consciousness in certain societies reached a degree of critical reflexivity that transcended the traditional social-religious world of the archaic civilizations but did not reject the mythic-narrative mode of cognition, and thereby led to the emergence of the Axial Age. We will consider whether a new axial age might be emerging out of our own late-modern and postmodern era. The two primary texts for the course will be Swimme and Thomas Berry's Universe Story and Tarnas's Passion of the Western Mind. Priority to PCC students

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