The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers
The Question (ID Number 639)...
I have read several of your books, and love how you draw from so many disciplines of academia. Is there any particular graduate program in the world that can be called a degree and provides skills for a job that is so inter-disciplinary, it covers many of the subjects you've drawn upon for your knowledge of the world? This curriculum doesn't have to teach Daniel Quinn or how to be him, just teach the facts and teach the philosophies that make our world interesting. I want to learn about the world, not just the earth's geology, but its history, and then all the social sciences around its reality. Assuming there is no perfect program, can you suggest one that comes close, or a subject that might suit my passions. I am considering sociology (anthropology), social work, history, religion (can you study religion from a sociological/historical perspective, and not spiritually?), and maybe international affairs-economic development. All of these seem so much like conformity, getting by or making the best of the current world we live in. I want do it right, it may be my only chance.
...and the response:
In the 1950s, when I was in college, I doubt that anything like what you're describing was available, but the world of higher education has changed dramatically since then, and many ambitious curriculum experiments have been undertaken in the direction you've indicated, though I'm afraid I've had no reason to track them. Certainly student-directed studies are widely available. (It may be that Human Ecology would come close to meeting your goals.) Certainly religion can be studied from a sociological/historical perspective, and doubtless many such courses are on offer. With an incredible tool like the Internet at your disposal, I'm sure your search will prove to be fruitful.
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