Primal Stories: Dust Echoes


Much to my delight, this  semester I find myself teaching a course on World Religions.  During our first class, I posed the question, “What is religion?” to the students, telling them, “You’re smart guys–surely a three word question will be simple to answer.”

We spent the next twenty-five minutes in a deep and quick-moving discussion.  For my next trick, I pulled out the short video “Whirlpool” from the excellent website Dust Echoes, and used it to segue into a discussion on symbolism and primal religions (aboriginal, tribal, and native american religions).  If you have time, definitely spend some exploring that website.

It’s my assertion that it is precisely from our capacity to Reason that mankind’s artistic and religious sensibilities arise.

Would one survive if you cut it off from the other?

It is no coincidence that most of the art produced over the course of human history–indeed even in the earliest surviving cave paintings–contains religious content or inspirations.   Far from being antithetical to rational thought, religion is an inevitable outgrowth of it.   Religion is one of the most distinctly human of actions.


3 Responses to “Primal Stories: Dust Echoes”

  1. Advent Says:

    Is this class just an overview of World religions or are you guys going to get down to the nitty-gritty arguments for and against religion (the stuff I like)?

    And I entirely agree with you and I take Aquina’s view towards faith and reason.

  2. artaban7 Says:

    It is an overview, though since it will net the students college credit I intend to densely pack it with information, and require a healthy dose of hard work.

    As for the question on the “nitty-gritty”, I’ve always felt I’m obligated to teach basic apologetics, and to let the students field their questions, concerns, and uncertainties. I find that the classroom, face-to-face interaction tends to hold in check the tendency I have to “go for the kill” when a stranger attacks religion.

  3. Advent Says:

    Nice. Sounds like it will be a good class.

    I know that tendency all too well – I tend to get hyper-sarcastic which annoys even me sometimes. *sigh*

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