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Visions, Dreams, Nightmares: The Sacred and Profane in Italy from Medieval to Modern Times
FIST 122
Spring 2015
Section: 01  

This course examines one of most controversial topics in both premodern and modern Italy, the subject of divine visions, namely, visions of or inspired by God. From the Middle Ages to today, Italian writers, artists, and theologians have hotly debated three related questions: (1) Does God exist? (2) Can God be known? and (3) If so, how should one represent the divine? We will explore various responses to these questions, ranging from those of devout mystics to those of skeptical atheists. In addition, reflecting on the divine will also foreground debate about many key issues underlying human existence: the purpose and limits of art, the relationship between the individual and society, the nature of knowledge and gender roles, and the value of sacred versus mundane experience. In this course, students will also examine some examples of Italian visionary art from the origins of Italian literature to modern film. Premodern and modern debate about the veracity, purpose, and sources of visionary-mystical experience will be addressed. Texts and films by Angela of Foligno, Catherine of Siena, Augustine, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Freud, Rossellini, Pasolini, and Olmi. Texts will be read in English, and Italian-language films will be viewed with subtitles.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on MAY-19-2024
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