REL 175 - Seeing the Sacred

Why do religious sites and icons inspire as much violence and destruction as piety and devotion? How do different religious communities imagine and re-present their ideas of the sacred (however defined)? This course examines some of the world's greatest works of art that have literally shaped our ideas about the category we call "religion." Among other religious expressions, it considers Hindu gods and goddesses, Buddhist mandalas, modern Jewish performance art, Christian icons, Islamic calligraphy, and Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) artistic expressions in and through nature. It also considers the destruction and/or reconstruction of sites and images, especially when religious traditions have interacted with other religious communities throughout history.
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Fall 2019
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