Grab a book, settle into your seat, and try not to check your phone or get up until you’ve read the work cover to cover. That’s the invitation University of Pennsylvania professor Justin McDaniel will be offering his students in a seven-hour class entitled “Existential Despair” next semester that will run from 5 p.m. to midnight every Tuesday. McDaniel, the chair of UPenn’s religious studies department and a former Buddhist monk, said the primary goal of the unconventional class...


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