Violence and the Sacred
School of Consciousness and Transformation PAR 6070 3.00
The sacred has a shadow, one that continues to haunt our contemporary world. In this course, we will address the complex, fascinating, intimate and sobering relationship that exists between the human experience of the sacred and our own acts of individual, collective and imaginal violence. Focusing especially (but not exclusively) on the legacy of Western spiritual and religious traditions, we will consider this relationship from historical, cultural, philosophical, psychoanalytic and religious lenses. Students not only will be introduced to key theories about sacrifice, scapegoating, the religious marginalization of strangers and so forth, but will also consider ways in which appeals to the sacred may also open pathways of peaceful transformation, reconciliation and cooperation.