Socialist Utopias: Transcendence and Religion in Communist States (FYS)|
Fall 2020 not offered
Socialism is a political system predicated on building a better future by transcending the present. But what kind of utopias were imagined in and by actual socialist states like the Soviet Union? Why was atheism so central to Marx's vision of socialism, and what kinds of futures did communists imagine were possible, once religion was removed from society? What kinds of transcendence did communists imagine would exist once they transcended religion? What kinds of religious practices were enabled despite and sometimes because of the state's repression of organized religion? We will read some Marx, some Soviet science fiction as well as ethnographies, ranging from studies that explore how communism is and isn't like a religion, how former atheists became missionaries, how some religious communities survived communism, how mangos became Mao's relics, how Vietnamese spirit mediums channel Ho Chi Minh, and what kinds of imaginaries can flourish in post-socialist ruins like Moscow and Silicon Valley.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI-MN)(RELI)
MARX ON RELIGION
Adam Chau, MAO¿S TRAVELLING MANGOES: FOOD AS RELIC IN REVOLUTIONARY CHINA
Sonja Luehrmann, SECULARISM SOVIET STYLE
Anya Bernstein, THE FUTURE OF IMMORTALITY: REMAKING LIFE AND DEATH IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA
Science fiction to be determined but may include Yefremov¿s ANDROMEDA, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, HARD TO BE A GOD, as well as short stories.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
This is a writing intensive course. Students will write three essays, each of which will be revised, as well as several short writing assignments.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approach" requirement for the Religion major.
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|