RELI 235: Religion and Literature

RELI 235-004: Religion and Literature
(Fall 2019)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW

Krug Hall 204

Section Information for Fall 2019

This section of RELI 235 will focus primarily on the religious literature written by Highland Maya of Guatemala beginning in the sixteenth century. The first portion of this course will involve a close reading of the Popol Vuh (also written as the Maya Book of the Council) – an early collection of indigenous cosmogonic and theogonic myths, and arguably the oldest written literature in the Americas. The second portion of this course will then consist of reading two modern novels that will explore the continued influence of the Popol Wuj in later fiction – Men of Maize by Miguel Ángel Asturias (the second Nobel laureate in literature from Latin America) and Time Commences in Xibalbá by Luis de Lión (the first Maya author to write a novel). As such, this course will serve as an introduction to native Mesoamerican religions and their influence on modern literature (e.g., magical realism) and the post-colonial critique.

Note: Each section of RELI 235 has a very different focus and does not read the same materials. This is the only section with readings of Native American (Maya) religious literature.

Mason Core (All)

Satisfies the general education requirement in literature.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Explores the relationship between religion and literature in different times and cultures, the influence of religion on literary works, and how literature expresses major religious themes such as death and immortality, divine will and justice, suffering and human destiny, and religion and state. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Literature
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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