When the Roman Empire became Christian early in the 4th century, traditional Greco-Roman religions as well as the various local and indigenous religions of Europe and the Mediterranean were all lumped into one new category of difference and otherness: the pagan. In this seven-week course, we will examine the creation of “paganism” by the early medieval Christian clergy and investigate the postmedieval life of this category in writings by modern scholars and contemporary pagans. Students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments (~150 pages) as well as a final paper or project. Prior coursework in social sciences or literature required.
This course is offered during the second seven weeks of the term.