Jun 7, 2011

Next semester's classes

Übung: Evangelical Apocalyptic Fiction

Fiction that stages the clash of spiritual forces behind current events, the sudden appearance of otherworldly beings in everyday life, and the violent end of human history in the near future has been wildly popular in recent years. This genre, Evangelical apocalyptic fiction, has sold in the millions, securing a spot on secular and religious bestseller lists and also in contemporary American culture. This fiction has deeply shaped contemporary religious imaginations, and reveals some deeply felt anxieties about the state of affairs at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Approaching these texts as literature and as cultural objects, this class will take an in-depth look at Evangelical apocalyptic fiction, paying special attention to issues of pluralism, secularism, religious belief, gender, and the “culture wars,” as well as the undergirding conceptions of God and the knowledge of God. In addition to examining this genre of fiction, the intent of this course is to introduce students to the study of religious literature.

Course texts:
Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
Nephilim, by L.A. Marzulli
The Ezekiel Option, by Joel Rosenberg
The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis
The Visitation, by Frank Peretti


Proseminar: Introduction to American Religion

American culture and life is deeply intertwined with religion, faith and spiritual seeking. It has been so throughout its history, despite the fact the country has no official religion, the public sphere is marked as secular, and its culture is pluralistic. This class will survey America’s vibrant and conflicted religious history through the study of beliefs and practices and an examination of historical developments, arguments and questions. This course is intended to give students an overview of American religious history and help them gain a working understanding of the fundamental dynamics of religious life and thought in America.

Course text: Introducing American Religion, by Charles Lippy
A reader of original documents will be provided.