HDS 3722

Poetry and Religion

Michael D. Jackson


This course explores human experience at the limits of logos ('reason,' 'word,' or 'rational principle'), when normal habits of thought and rules of social location are lost or disrupted, when we confront sides of ourselves that ordinarily do not see the light of day, yet from which new modes of consciousness and expression may emerge - a penumbral zone that Wallace Stevens alluded to in his image of 'the palm at the end of the mind,' standing 'beyond thought', on 'the edge of space,' while a gold-feathered bird sings in the palm 'without human meaning, without human feeling, a foreign song.' Several (mainly modernist) poets and poems will be scheduled for discussion (including Wallace Stevens, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bishop, Anna Akhmatova, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy, Sylvia Plath), but students are invited to work with poets of their own choosing.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 1013


0.50 credits
Fall 2012
Tues 12pm-2pm
Rockefeller Hall Room 116

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • African and African American Religious Studies
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
  • Religion, Literature, and Culture
  • Religion and the Social Sciences
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • African Religions
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Language Course Designation(s) None