Posted on November 24, 2010 by Tia Lalani

Challenge yourself to think about what you see and hear as ‘news’ in AUREL 270, for student credit and open to the public!

A new course, available for Augustana students and the public, will challenge you to think about what you see and hear as “news”. Beginning in January, instructors Dittmar Mündel and David Goa will teach AUREL 270, The Presence of the Word: Media and Truth-Telling to a maximum class of 20.

In this exploration of news, religious tradition and propaganda, Mündel and Goa will explore topics such as the Ground Zero Mosque and the Burning Quran. Expect a presentation from a Canadian academic who witnessed the Omar Khadr trial in Guatanamo Bay and a Palestinian Muslim who will address Israel-Palestinian relations, their views of the land and whose it is.

Stories can broaden our understanding of human action and motivation, or can reduce and dehumanize our view of others. By their perspective, they can extend propaganda or truth, or even be a part of a prophetic “speaking truth to power”. Other stories are a way of writing dissent to the claims of the powerful or predictable right-wing vs. left-wing analysis. What role do religious traditions – in their claim to orient their adherents to truth, both visible and invisible – contribute in this battle for the modern mind?

David Goa, director of the Chester Ronning Centre, is an Alberta native who studied history, philosophy and the history of religions in Chicago. He lectures widely, is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles, and is a regular contributor to the media. His work focuses on religious tradition and modern culture, culture and the civil life, and on public institutions in service to cultural communities and modern civil society. Rev. Dittmar Mündel has been an Augustana Religious Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies professor since 1980. He founded the interdisciplinary Development Studies program in 1994 and with it the Prairies-Mexico Rural Development Exchange (now PACSE). Mündel has been an Evangelical Lutheran pastor since 1970 and is committed to experience-based, community-engaged teaching and learning.

AUREL 270 will be held Mondays from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, from January 10 to April 13, 2011. The course is available for credit to U of A Augustana students, and community members are invited to attend for a suggested donation of $150 to the Chester Ronning Centre. For information or to register, students should contact their Academic Advisor and community members can email Rebecca Warren or call 780-679-1146.

Please move quickly to claim one of the 20 seats!

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