The Threat of Hell

Image VII. Pronouncements and Threats: “Go to Hell . . .!”  

21. Tuesday, November 9

Discussion: Does Hell Exist? If so, in what form? What do people think today?

  • Winfrid Herbst: “Don’t go to Hell!”
  • Jeffery Sheler: “Hell hath no fury”: READ
  • John Paul II rejects literal Hell: READ
  • Pew Foundation Research on Belief in Hell: READ (entire) and READ (pp. 11-12) and compare with Noelle Knox, “Religion takes a back seat in Western Europe”: READ
  • Bishop John Henry Spong, “Hell is an invention of the church”:  LISTEN AND WATCH

22. Thursday, November 11

Discussion:  What is Human Nature and why should it matter for our understanding of moral behavior?

  • An excerpt from Fyodr Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
    Ivan Karamazov’s sobering thoughts on “Rebellion”: 236-246. (hand-out).
  • No self-respecting Notre Dame student should graduate without reading The Brothers Karamazov in its entirety. The book will change the way you look at life.

23. Tuesday, November 16

Film and Discussion: Stanley Milgram, “Obedience”


Image VIII. A World Without Hell: “No hell beneath us . . .”  

24. Thursday, November 18

Discussion: What is the connection between Hell and moral behavior? Do we need to believe in Hell to maintain a civilized society?

  • Jerry Walls: “Can we be Good without Hell?”: READ
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: “Fear of Hell might fire up economy”: READ
  • Richard Dawkins, “Religion’s real child abuse”: READ
  • David Brooks, “The End of Philosophy”: READ
  • Our Values Survey: An assessment of your findings.

25. Tuesday, November 23

Music from Hell:

26. Thursday, November 25:  NO CLASS AT NOTRE DAME due to Thanksgiving


Thursday, November 25 – Sunday, November 29 


NOTE:  Please leave your technology at home. This includes electronic devices of any kind, such as laptops, i-Pads, cell phones, Kindels, video cameras, or other personal digital devices.