ENGL 271
Religion and the Modern Literary Imagination
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENGL 271 / REL 271 / COMP 271
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

In this course we will examine themes of religious life such as ritual, sin, redemption, evil, magic, heresy, prophecy, faith and devotion as they appear as sources of conflict and reflection in novels, poems and short stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our task will be to consider first, how literary form can be used as a tool to conceptualize religious experience, but second the ways in which literature, in its expressions of wonder and despair, converges or conflicts with the aims of worship and religious performance, producing either modern sacrament or idol. Of the novels, stories and poems that we will read, some will arise directly out of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions, while others will have more explicitly tangential, or even heretical relations with these traditions. We will consider a range of novelists from Dostoevsky to Cynthia Ozick and Orhan Pamuk and a range of poets from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Wallace Stevens and Paul Celan. Assignments will be both critical and creative. You will be asked to think like a writer and a critic and thus to try your hand at writing a sestina as well as a personal essay.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3269
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: bi-weekly response papers of 1-2 pages, a short essay of 5-7 pages and a final writing assignment of 8-10 pages
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students and Religion majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP or ENGL
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 271 Division II REL 271 Division II COMP 271 Division II
Attributes: JWST Elective Courses
REL Comparative Inquiry Courses

Class Grid

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