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The Self Writing the Self: Autobiography and Religion
This course explores the nature of selfhood as it is constituted in the writing of autobiography. Our questions include: What do autobiographies tell us about the relationship of personal identity, individuality, subjectivity, and alienation to religious truth? What can we say about the relationship of the lived live to what is remembered and written in autobiography? To whom are autobiographers telling their self-stories, and why? What constitutes such critical experiences as moments of conversion, enlightenment, or self-consciousness? Our interpretive methodology will draw from literary theory on autobiographical writing. Students will also keep autobiographical journals for the course, as an exercise in the practice of this genre of writing. Autobiographical writings to be studied include those by Augustine, Teresa of Avila, a Tibetan Buddhist hermitess, a Jewish Kaballist mystic, a contemporary Chinese-American novelist, a 17th century Venetian Rabbi, an American freed slave, a Japanese pilgrim poet, and James Joyce.
Enrollment Limited: Limited to 40 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 1043
Course location to be announced.
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