List of Universities and Syllabi

DePaul University "Moral Issues Across Cultures/The Atom Bomb Discourse"


From May to July, 2005

2.Targeted Students:

All students


Participation in the classroom process, one interview assignment, 10-page essay, and a group presentation


James Halstead, OSA, STD, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Chair

Yuki Miyamoto, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor


Lincoln Park Campus
Japan(Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki)

Course Description:

This course examines religious and philosophical responses to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. We begin with investigation of actual historical event of 1945 as a basis of further discussion of the issues of present-day nuclear weaponry. With the influences of nuclear arms upon international relations in mind, we will examine the atomic bombings, the reaction to the incidents from philosophical and religious circles, and responses to subsequent nuclear arms issues. Accordingly, the course is divided into three sections: the first section deals with the fact of bomb?its force and influence; the second section covers the intellectual history of war, peace, and the justification of nuclear weaponry. The last section will investigate nuclear issues around the world, including the U.S.

Course Objectives:

The primary objective of this course is to come to a fuller understanding of the atomic bombings through an appreciation of the diverse narratives that have developed since the incidents of 1945. Our goal will not be to attain conclusive understandings of the historical event, but rather better comprehension of the immense complexity of the bomb and surrounding issues. Consequently, our discussion will extend to the nuclear issues and conflicts in other parts of the world.

Course Description:

To this end, we analyze narrative formation by looking at representations of atomic bomb victims in various media, such as newspaper articles, literature, and film. In addition, we will discuss the construction of narratives in relation to many contemporary issues concerning war, nuclear proliferation, and human-made mass death. Doing so will allow us to approach the bomb and related issues in a more informed and critical manner, and to consider more fully the virtues of tolerance and reconciliation in our era of globalization

The course will include 5 three-hour sessions in Chicago and a 16-day trip to Japanese cities such as Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki

Part I: The Power and Influence of the Atomic Bombing

Week 1: Introduction-The Facts and Memory

May4 The Facts, Effects, and Power of the Bomb
Reading: Laura Hein and Mark Selden, “Chapter 1 Commemoration and Silence: Fifty Years of Remembering the Bomb in America and Japan,” and George H.Roeder, Jr. “Chapter 4: Making Things Visible: Learning from the Censors” from Living with the Bomb
Preparation for the Interview
Reading: Paul Fussell “Thank God for the Atom Bomb” from Thank God for the Atom Bomb and other Essays.
Group Work or Video: Mother’s Prayer

Week 2: Interview?Both Sides of Narratives

May11 Guest Speaker Mr. Yoshida Katsuji (a native of Nagasaki)
Discussion on the Talk by Mr. Yoshida and Report on the Interviews

Week 3: Historical Survey-Why was the Bombs dropped?

May18 Road to the Bomb: Japanese Imperialism
Reading: Saburo Ienaga, “The Horrors of War” from The Pacific War: 1931-1945
Decision to Drop the Bombs: American Perspective Reading:

Week 4: Religious Responses to War, Violence, and the Atomic Bomb

May25 God’s Sacrificial Lambs?
Reading: Excerpts from Nagai Takashi, The Bells of Nagasaki
Just War Theory and American Catholic View on Nuclear Weaponry
Reading: The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response A Pastoral Letter on War and peace by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops

Week 5: Religion, Ethics, and Nuclear War

Jun1 On Deterrence, Christian Pacifism, and Religious Realism
Reading: Francis X. Winters, S.J. “The American Bishops on Deterrence-Wise as Serpents, Innocent as Doves,” Francis X. Meehan, “Nonviolence and the Bishops’ Pastoral: A Case for a Development of Doctrine,” and William V. O’Brien “The Challenge of War: A Christian Realist Perspective” from The Catholic Bishops and Nuclear War: A Critique and Analysis of the Pastoral the Challenge of Peace
Beyond the National Borders
Reading: Darrell J. Fashing and Dell Dechant, “Islamic Stories-Ancient and Post/Modern” and “Hindu Stories-Ancient and Post/Modern” from Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach
Video: War and Peace
Part II: Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki
June 23 Departure to Kansai Airport (Osaka) by United Air 877 at 12:00 noon
June 24 Arrival in Osaka, Stay in Kyoto
United Air Flight 877 will arrive in Kansa-Osaka International Airport at 3:35 p.m. After clearing custom, we will board a train to Kyoto.We plan to check in a hotel at around 6:00 p.m. Group Dinner 1
June 25 Orientation to Kyoto or Adjusting the Jetlag
As an option, the instructor(s) will lead a tour to the Golden Pavilion (Zen temple and garden) and Nanzan-ji (Zen garden).
June 26 Day Off
Again, as an option, the instructor(s) will lead a tour to the Sanju-sangen do
June 27 Leaving for Hiroshima
Take a bullet train (Shinkansen) to Hiroshima (lunchbox on the train).
Approximately, a 2-hour train ride. After checking in a hotel in Hiroshima, there will be an orientation by the instructors how to get around.
June 28 In the Morning
Meeting Mr. Kagimoto at the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Meeting Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi
In the Afternoon
Visiting the Museum
We will begin with the east building that contains exhibits on the history of Hiroshima since the early 19th century.
The west building shows exhibits of artifacts exposed to radiation from the A-bomb victims.
Monument touring in Hiroshima Memorial Park in groups
  • (1)Atomic Bomb Dome
  • (2)Aioi Bridge
  • (3)Hypocenter
  • (4)Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students
  • (5)Motoyasu Bridge
  • (6)Children’s PeaceMonument
  • (7)Peace Bell
  • (8)Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound
  • (9)A-bombed Gravestone of Jisenji (Buddhist Temple)
  • (10)Monument in Memory of the Korean Victims of the Atomic Bomb
  • (11)Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims
  • (12)A-bombed Aogili (Sultan Parason Trees)
  • (13)Hiroshima Monument for the A-bomb Victims
  • (14)Toge Sankichi Monument
  • (15)Dr. Marcel Junod Monument
In the Evening
Group Dinner 2 and Karaoke Night
June 29 In the Morning
Lecture on Buddhism and True Pure Land Sect
(Conference Room 2, East Wing, Basement Level) by the instructors
Lunchbox at the Conference Room
In the Afternoon
2:00 pm Meeting Rev. Koji Shigenobu at Koryu-Temple
June 30 In the Morning
Discussion on John Hersey’s Hiroshima

In the Afternoon
Meeting Ms. Koko Tanimoto
Mr. Matsushima Keijiro
July 1 In the Morning
Visit Radiation Effects Research Foundation

In the Afternoon
Movie : Black Rain(Conference Room)
Discussion on aftereffect
July 2 In the Morning
Lecture on “Other” Victims?Koreans and Japanese-Americans (Conference Room 2) by the instructor
In the Afternoon
Visit Hiroshima National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims Video:
July 3 Day Off
the instructor(s) will lead an optional tour to go to Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima.
30-minute train ride and 10-minute ferry-ride.
The shrine was designated as a World Treasure by the UNESCO, and its Shinto shrine gate floats in the sea.
July 4 In the Morning
Visit the exhibitions on the basement of the Peace Museum (drawings by the victims and the exhibition on the Marshall Islands)
In the Afternoon
Lecture on the Influence on Marshall Islands (Conference Room 2) by Dr. Takahashi Hiroko, research associate at Hiroshima Peace Institute affliated with Hiroshima City University
July 5 Leaving for Nagasak
July 6 In the Morning
Meeting Professor Hamada Yoko, ICM at Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University
In the Afternoon
Visit Nagasaki Peace Memorial Museum, Nagasaki National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
July 7 In the Morning
Lecture on Atomic Bombs from a Catholic Perspective (at Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University) by a guest speaker
In the Afternoon
A Play on the atomic bombing at Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University
In the Evening
Farewell Dinner with students from Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University
July 8 Leaving for Osaka, and Chicago