Buddhism is a performing art engaging both mind and body. Our course investigates Buddhist and other literature, epistemology and rituals with an eye to how they speak to contemplative practice. Contemplative practice itself, in class and out, supplements our exploration of the interplay between traditional Asian and contemporary Western perspectives.
An overview of the basic approaches in the psychological understanding of religious belief and practice. Topics to be addressed in religious systems East and West include: sex, religious experience, ritual, myth, saintliness, guilt, God and meditation.
Familiarize the student with diverse texts (secular and religious, East and West) found in mystical literature. Emphasis will be placed on psychological and comparative methods.
This seminar explores the themes of love, sex, and spirit from the classical era through the postmodern age. We will examine literary, philosophical, and artistic expressions in painting, sculpture, cinema, novels, poetry, psychoanalysis, religion, and culture.
Pairing the perspectives of medicine, bioethics, and the medical humanities with thematic case studies in art, literature, cinema, and visual culture, the class examines the humanities of care and the end of life.
Examines the growth of Christianity from its origins as a Jewish group to a religion in the mid-second century that distinguished itself from Judaism. Includes discussion of Acts, Paul's letters, Johannine corpus, Gospel of Thomas, Pastorals, Catholic letters, Hebrews, and Revelation.
What is mind? What is self? What can a human being become? Drawing on a wealth of Buddhist-related art, film, and literature, this course introduces you to Tibetan and other Buddhist approaches to these crucial questions.
A survey of the Dead Sea Scrolls as a window into the Second Temple period. A close reading of the scrolls will lead to a discussion of the theological and historical issues of the time, a period pivotal for the formation of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity.
Doubt, sex, despair, obsession, ecstasy in directors, writers, musicians wanting spiritual reboot, 1890-2015: such as Allen Ginsberg, Oscar Wilde, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, H.P. Lovecraft, John Updike, and Ingmar Bergman.
Literary and artistic creativity, religious experience, and textual interpretation often draw on focused states of consciousness made possible by contemplative practices. The practicum will provide historical information about such practices and offer opportunities to participate in techniques ranging from meditation and observing breath to freeform writing and T'ai Chi.