B CUSP 104
Examines an important social issue such as ecology, art, political change, the power of media, educational reform, or the role of science in contemporary culture through interdisciplinary investigation, and the lens of the visual, literary, and performing arts. Offered: A.
This course looks at Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam in film, literature, and other media from different perspectives: namely, their origins and development, their central teachings, devotional practices, institutions and cultural expressions. Cinematic and literary texts play a central role in shaping and reflecting about national and global cultures, and we will examine a range of these texts as major cultural sites that produce, perpetuate, circulate, and problematize contemporary forms of religious faith as they relate to common themes of human experience: the sacred and the profane, knowledge and faith, death and deliverance, community and solitude. Along with these common themes of human experience we will discuss the politicization of religious practice: we will address the radical aspect of religions and the representation of the resulting violence in film and literature.
Student learning goals
Critically compare and interpret religious texts in the context of traditional beliefs.
Acquire geographical and cultural knowledge in the context of selected major religions.
Critically understand intersection between religion, politics, and globalization and its representation in film and fiction
Demonstrate in writing, presentations and discussion the ability to think creatively and critically about varied issues of world religions
Build interdisciplinary research skills that enable students to pose questions on economic, political and cultural relationships.
Interdisciplinary skills in critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, collaborative work, writing, and presentation.
General method of instruction
Lectures, discussion, small group work, partner work, presentations, field trips.
Familiarize yourself with members of other world religions, read fictional accounts of religious and/or spiritual experiences, learn about the history of world religions.
Class assignments and grading
Four map quizzes, one individual presentation, one group presentation, weekly journal submissions, one final project and a written mid-term.
- Active class participation. - A critical understanding of some of the major concepts which we will study and application of that knowledge in written and oral assignments. - Ability to make connections between the various authors we read, the lectures and discussions in class. - Evidence of adequate reading and critical reflection.