Topics in Religion and Literature
CAS RN 524
Three topics are offered 2014/2015. Students may register for one, two, or three for credit. Topic for Fall 2014: Apocalypse and Literature. Literary responses to the biblical book of Revelation, from ancient to modern times. Systematic analysis of the biblical text. Readings from Dante, Langland, Rabelais, Blake, Hölderlin, Dostoevsky, García Lorca, Samuel Beckett, and Flannery O'Connor. Reference to artistic and musical representations of apocalypse. Also offered as CAS XL 560 A1. Topics for Spring 2015. Section A1: Russian Literature and Spirituality. Explores literary experimentation with religious ideas (e.g., spirit, soul, heaven, hell, crucifixion, gnosis, resurrection, sin, immortality) in the increasingly anti-religious environment of late imperial and Soviet Russia. Authors include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bely, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Platonov, Tarkovsky. Supplemental readings from philosophy/theory. Also offered as CAS XL 560 A1. Section B1: The Unique Individual in Literature (narrative fiction) and in Religious Thought. Readings from the fiction of Goethe, Melville, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, poetry and short stories of Poe. Comparison between the discursive (religious thought) and non-discursive forms (literature) for apprehending and expressing the mystery, paradox, and fragility of human life. Also offered as CAS XL 560 B1.