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Special Course Offerings - Fall 2014

ASC 001/002 - Bridging the Millenium: The Sacred, the Profane, and the Sublime in Five American Masterworks

Instructor : Dr. Anne Davidson Sobel

Description: An invitation to study five astonishing works of fiction that span a quarter of a century surrounding the new millennium. The stylistic range of these works is extraordinary, and one of the most important questions we'll ask throughout the term is: how does the emotional power of each derive from its formal brilliance? How might verbal violence and/or the profane yield to the sublime? How might the sacred arise from the literary? What role, moreover, do cultural contexts play in the production and reception of these works (note, for example, that each author on the syllabus was born between 1933 - 1943)?

This course asks for your active participation throughout the term (seminar format, limited to twenty participants in each section). To help foster the highest possible level of discussion, you will also be asked to write weekly Blackboard responses (one to two paragraphs in length). Class meets once a week (eighty minutes) for six weeks.

Lecture 1: Introduction; "Dancing After Hours" (1996), Andre Dubus. Please read "The Intruder" and "A Love Song" (first two stories in the collection)

Lecture 2 : Remainder of "Dancing After Hours"

Lecture 3 : Blood Meridian (1985), Cormac McCarthy          

Lecture 4 : Sabbath's Theater (1995), Philip Roth

Lecture 5 : Gilead (2004), Marilynne Robinson

Lecture 6 : Home (2008), Marilynne Robinson

Section 1 will meet on the following Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 11:20 am: 10/7/14, 10/14/14, 10/21/14, 11/4/14, 11/11/14, and 11/18/14

Section 2 will meet on the following Thursdays from 10:00 am to 11:20 am: 10/9/14, 10/16/14, 10/23/14, 11/6/14, 11/13/14, and 11/20/14

Please note that neither section will meet during the fall break week.

COST: $200.00

ASC 003 - Chapters in the Life of the Apostle Paul

Professor John G. Gager, Jr., William H. Danworth Professor of Religion, Emeritus

Fridays from 10:30 am to 12 noon

September 26, 2014: Saul, the Pious and Zealous Pharisee

October 3, 2014: Did Saul/Paul convert - and to what?

October 10, 2014: Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

October 17, 2014: The Long After-Life of the Apostle

COST: $100.00