Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Literature
Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations
Amherst College

Course Website (accessible to registered students)

Asian 21: Religious Traditions of Premodern Japan Through Literature and Drama

Description and general information:

This course consists of close reading, lecture, and discussion concerning representative works of literature and drama from ancient to early modern Japan. Theoretical analysis will be integrated with readings from the sociology and anthropology of religion; treatises associated with Buddhist, Confucian, Shintô, and Daoist traditions; and readings on the history of religion in Japan. Analysis of these materials will allow us to discuss the relationship between religious belief and artistic practice. Interpretation and discussion will focus on exploring the impact of ritual on the form and content of literary and dramatic works. From this examination, we will seek to improve our appreciation of the process of literary creation and the central position occupied by religious beliefs and practices in Japanese culture. Readings and discussion are in English.

Amherst College
Professor Caddeau, Webster 106, x 7928

Course meets: TBA
Office Hours: TBA

Requirements: All assigned readings are to be completed before class. Short essays are to be submitted to me at the beginning of class on the day they are due. Short essays should be approximately 1,000 words (4 pages) in length. Students are expected to lead one class discussion during the semester. The final paper is due in my office by 5:00 pm on Friday, December 18th. One-half letter grade will be deducted for each day assignments are submitted beyond the due date.

The following books have been placed on reserve at Frost Library and can also be purchased at the Jeffery Amherst College Store:

Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity, H. Byron Earhart (BL2202 .E17 1982 )
The Sacred Canopy,
Peter L. Berger (261 B453)
Classical Japanese Prose, Helen Craig McCullough, ed. (PL777.115 .C57 1990)

Additional readings are included with the course reading packet available from the Asian Languages and Civilizations Office, Webster 110. (A fee will be charged to cover duplication costs.)

Syllabus (dates and readings subject to revision)

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