RELG 114. Love and Religion


A comparative seminar that deals with ancient Greek, early and medieval Christian, medieval Jewish, "secular" troubadour, Hindu, South Asian and East Asian (Japanese) Buddhist traditions on the transformations of "love" in religious devotional literatures.  We focus on themes of erotic and parental love; gender, sexuality, and the body; the emotions as ethical appraisal; individual love, loss, lament, and "ennobling virtue;" and the enduring tensions between the particular and "universal" in discourses of and about love, the passions and their vicissitudes in the histories of religion.  Primary texts will range from Plato's Symposium, Gregory of Nyssa's Greek commentaries on the Song of Songs and his Bios makrinou; the Occitan poetry of female Provençal troubadours, Dante's Vita nuova, selections from the Commedia, Angela di Foligno's Libello; to early Buddhist women in the poetry and narratives of the Pāli Therīgāthā, the Sinhala narratives of the Buddha's wife Yasodharā and the Buddha's two mothers, Bengali poetry to the Hindu goddess Kālī and to the divine lovers Krishna and Rādhā; Heian-period Japanese love poems of Izumi Shikibu, and Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things.  
Humanities.
2 credits.
Eligible for ASIA, GSST, MDST
Fall 2022. Hopkins.
Catalog chapter: Religion  
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/religion


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