Simply put, life transitions are changes that, unexpectedly or not, alter the course of life and lay significant claims on our hearts. This course will examine life transitions such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, chronic illness, and so on — but also comparatively more subtle (but often no less important) adjustments brought on by things like retirement, children leaving home, moving, relationship endings, and more — in the context of spiritual care and counseling, looking carefully at the ways in which religion and spirituality can help (and possibly hinder) the negotiation of life transitions. Whereas much work on multifaith approaches to spiritual care and counseling often puts more emphasis on the Abrahamic traditions (consciously or not), this course will turn that trend on its head a bit. Thus, while beliefs and practices from the five major world religions, as well as those from Native American spirituality and indigenous faith traditions, will be considered, this course will anchor itself deliberately in the Dharma-based religions (Hinduisim, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism). By doing so, we hope to both increase students’ awareness of religious others and help the class develop a more robust set of tools for spiritual care and counseling.
If you are not enrolled in a degree program but wish to register for this course, use the Online Registration for Special Students and Auditors.