Our social nature and capacity for language are often noted as distinctive traits that make us human. Thus, when people choose silence or solitude in some form—they may be viewed with either reverence or suspicion. But either way, because such practices seem to go against our species behavior, they attract attention and require explanation. In most of the world’s religious-spiritual traditions, some practice of silence or solitude is seen as the means to or evidence of a person’s transcendence of ordinary humanity. With these paradoxes as our starting point, we will examine varieties of practices of solitude and silence in several Asian and Western religious-spiritual traditions and in some non-religious contexts, from early Christians and Buddhists, to modern practitioners such as Thoreau and Thomas Merton. We will consider both communal monasticism and individual recluse/hermit traditions devoted to prayer, contemplation, and meditation. Also, since the problems related to the absence of solitude and silence broadly impact social ecologies, we will consider the impact of silence and solitude—or their absence—in our contemporary lives. We will read classic historical texts, contemporary accounts, study films, and engage in practices related to these topics. Seminar materials may include films such as Philip Groning’s Into Great Silence and writings from classic sources and traditions mentioned above, along with contemporary books such as George Prochnik’s In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise and Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.
Galpin Memorial Building1101 N. Bever StreetWooster, OH 44691Phone: 330-263-2004Fax: firstname.lastname@example.orgHours: M-F: 8am-5pm
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
© Map and Directions | Employment | A to Z Index | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions | ScotMail | ScotWeb | ScotBlogs | Libraries | WHN