Fall 2021 - WL 400 D100
Early Literary Cultures (4)
Class Number: 7511
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Tu, Th 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
AQ 5009, Burnaby
Prerequisites:60 units including two 300-level courses in World Literature, English, and/or Humanities.
Explores ancient literatures and text networks. May focus on the themes of heroism, war, the rise of ethical systems, love and sexuality from pre-history to the 7th century CE.
WL 400 – Early Literary Cultures: “Christendom: from East to the Rest”Christianity, a venerable trunk of beliefs, values and practices, began as an offshoot of Judaism and spread throughout Asia Minor and the Mediterranean in the first 300 years of the Common Era. It seeded a civilization, later known as “Christendom,” that grew up around it and branched off into “Western Civilization.” This course will explore the rise of Christianity in its texts and contexts and end by tracing one of its runners westward in a vagabonding story of medieval saints.
What did the new faith have to offer to the established Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures that they didn’t already have? How did its texts and discourses transform an empire’s attitudes toward women, sexuality, the family and political authority? How did the new genre of saints’ lives influence European cultures in ways that are discernable even today? The three-fold structure of this course, arranged around the required texts, is designed to stimulate conversations around these questions with the aim of better understanding our moment in history. No prior knowledge of Christianity, the Roman Empire or classical/medieval literatures is required, just a will to read with an open mind, discuss frankly, and write thoughtfully.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
- Short essay 1 (5 pages) 15%
- Midterm exam 20%
- Research paper proposal + Final paper (15% + 30%) 45%
- Oral report on the final paper 10%
- Participation / Group work 10%
The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha. Oxford University Press, 1992
ISBN - 13: 9780195290004
Cambrai, Gui de. Barlaam And Josaphat: A Christian Tale of The Buddha. Penguin, 2014
ISBN - 13: 9780143107019
Girard, Rene. The Girard Reader. The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1996
ISBN - 13: 9780824516345
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