Course Spotlight: A Study in Religion with Tom and Barbara Boyd

BY CHRIS ELLIOTT

University of Oklahoma Parrington Oval

When Tom and Barbara Boyd teach for OLLI, it’s always a special occasion, but I can’t think of a year where the topic of understanding religion is more timely. Recently, protestors stood outside a Planned Parenthood office protesting the organization’s stance on abortion.

Many of the headline grabbers on all of the media outlets these days feature religion – from the extremists using guns and violence to prove their religion is “the best” to celebrities who hide behind theirs during times of controversy. Lusting for Infinity: A Study in Religion will be led by longtime OLLI (and University of Oklahoma) favorites Tom and Barbara Boyd and will use a recently published work of Tom’s. The goal of the course will be to examine new ways to understand the future of religion.

“We want everyone to come away from this course with a pretty good understanding of what religion is going to look like in the not so distant future,” Tom Boyd said.

There are four areas of focus for the course:

  1. An orientation to the problem of religion in our time
  2. An exploration of current problems in religion
  3. The classical formation of religion
  4. Transformation that invites participants into a more experiential and dynamic engagement with religion

It’s the last area that has Tom excited.

“This is where it will all comes together,” Tom said. “After two days, the OLLI members should leave the course with a different feeling about religion and, hopefully, a better understanding of the history of religion.”

Over the years, Tom and Barbara Boyd have become two of OLLI at OU’s most popular professors. They taught for the program every semester until they relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now, they teach a two-day course once each year.

“We are very excited to be back on campus and teaching for OLLI,” Barbara said. “Tom and I look forward to our annual trip to Norman and being around the OLLI members.”

Lusting for Infinity: A Study in Religion will meet Wednesday and Thursday, March 9 and 10, 2016, in the CCE Forum Building on the Norman campus. OLLI members can register online at ou.edu/olli or by calling the OLLI office at (405) 325-3488.