Christine E. Goettler
ART H 400
Courses on special topics, frequently by visiting faculty, which cannot be offered on a continuing basis. Consult art history office for subjects offered.
WS 2002 The Imagery of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory
The course attempts to shed some light on aspects of devotional and visionary art that still remain largely unexplored. Images played an important role in clarifying and conceptualizing the Christian doctrine of heaven, hell, and purgatory: They initiated new discourses on concepts of sin and penance, judicial procedures, the place of women and different social and ethnic groups in a Christian society.
We will look at a wide range of representations of heaven, hell, and purgatory from humble objects to sophisticated works of art, primarily created in the period between the late thirteenth and the eighteenth century. But we will also discusses the “afterlife” of these images in modern and contemporary culture and art, for example, purgatorial artifices and stratagems in screwball comedy films, contemporary cults of the dead in Naples, and “moving” pictures of souls in video art. We will employ an interdisciplinary approach that links art history with religious studies, literary history, semiotics, sociology and gender studies.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion and perhaps some class presentations.
A reader will be ready at the beginning of the quarter. A useful introduction is: Paul Binski. Medieval Death. Ritual and Representation, London 1996.
Class assignments and grading
Reviews of book chapters and articles; short essays etc.
Written assignments and class participation.