Summer 2015 - HIST 468W D100

Problems in the History of Religion (4)

Class Number: 3585

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2015: Thu, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including nine units of lower division history.



An advanced examination into the concepts and methodology of the history of religion. Students with credit for HIST 468 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


Problems in the History of Religion: Jesus in Early-Modern Visual Art

The early-modern world saw both dramatic changes in the arts as well as rapid expansions of cultural horizons. This course uses Jesus as a focus to explore the visual arts--including painting, drawing, woodcuts, calligraphy, sculpture, textiles, and more--in Europe and its wider world from 1380 to 1820. As no background knowledge is assumed, the first few weeks will bring students up to speed on the fundamentals of visual analysis, the iconography of Jesus, and the evolution of western art. The rest of the semester we will expand on this knowledge by developing a collective database of Jesus-related imagery from the period. Students will largely be pursuing their own individual projects--researching, analyzing, writing, presenting--in the context of the overall seminar. In addition to examining many case studies of representations of Jesus, this course hopes to encourage students to think globally yet soberly, to place local experience in global context without failing to appreciate its uniqueness. Students will hone their ability to read historical scholarship critically and to approach historical phenomena from multiple points of view.


  • Seminar participation 20%
  • Quiz on fundamentals 5%
  • Three ten-page research papers and database contributions 60%
  • Three referats (formal presentations on research) 15%



 J. Taylor, Learning to Look: A Handbook for the Visual Arts

S. Zuffi, Gospel Figures in Art

M. Levey, From Giotto to Cezanne: A Concise History of Painting

other readings will be available online.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.