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Title: What Is Worth Dying For?
Course Section Number: FRT-101-11
Department: Freshman Tutorial
Description: Jeff Jay is a professor in the Religion department. His passions include teaching, reading, thinking, writing, studying Gandhi, vegetarianism and teetotaling. He loves to spend time with his feminist partner and play with his unwieldly children, carrying them in tow as he trains for feats of physical endurance, running and biking abandoned country roads, hiking in pathless woods and swamps, swimming in open water, especially the ocean, and sublimating. What is worth dying for? We will probe this question studying the history of martyrdom, broadly understood, thinking about the values and projects for which people give their lives, stretching through time and around the globe. Our trek will take us from ancient Greece to contemporary Tibet, through the amphitheaters of the Roman Empire to modern San Francisco, New York City, Russia, Myanmar, and many places besides. We will encounter philosophers, playwrights, novelists, a fisherman, a salesperson, an interior designer, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, soldiers, non-violent resisters, and others. Our inquiry will bring into focus major questions: What are the values and commitments on which people willingly stake their lives? How do people think about the nature of death, the dying process, or the afterlife? Why do people fear death, how do they overcome (or fail to overcome) this fear? What personal costs or voluntary self-suffering might serious commitments to love, justice, freedom, and religion exact? Is dying worth it? Should dying for a cause be valorized or not? When? Why? Why not? Philosophies, stories, speeches, plays and other texts, along with films, documentaries, and live drama will animate and drive our discussions.
Credits: 1.00
Start Date: August 24, 2022
End Date: December 17, 2022
Meeting Information: 08/25/2022-12/15/2022 Lecture Tuesday, Thursday 09:45AM - 11:00AM, Center Hall, Room 300
Faculty: Reed Jay, Jeff

Course Status

Section Name/Title Status Dept. Capacity Enrolled/
What Is Worth Dying For?
CLOSED Freshman Tutorial 16 16 / 0 / 0