Asceticism (HIS4131.01)

Stephen Higa

In our world of decadence and consumerism, it is almost impossible to fathom a world of discipline, renunciation, self-denial, and martyrdom. The records of early Mediterranean asceticism—from the Greco-Roman philosophers to the Christian saints—overflow with stories of men who stood on pillars for years on end and women who wandered the harsh deserts completely nude. In this course, we will examine the roots of our current concepts of selfhood and embodiment by investigating these extravagant acts and the philosophies that lay behind them. Students will be expected to complete weekly reading assignments (~150 pages) as well as a midterm paper and a final paper or project. Prior coursework in social sciences or literature required.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.
Credits: 4
Th 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
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