2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

In Our Image


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Lisa Sweet (F) printmaking, ceramics, drawing , Andrew Reece classical art and literature , Rita Pougiales anthropology, education
Fields of Study
anthropology, art history, community studies, literature, philosophy, religious studies and visual arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
medieval history, religious studies, art history and community studies.

Making meaning of our lives and the world we inhabit is the essence of being human. Through knowledge, stories and images, we manifest what it is we hold most sacred and essential in our lives. Religion, through its liturgy, music and imagery, reflects what a people hold to be essentially human. Our work will address questions like the following: What are the fundamental mysteries humans address through religious practice and expression? What are the stories being told through artistic and written material? What is the experience of the artist creating sacred images? What are the meanings that have endured over centuries? How is it that sacred images and texts provide direction for us?

Our inquiry into meaning-making will center on Christianity, one religious tradition that has been a wellspring for expressions of spiritual and moral meaning, as well as a source of insight and understanding that has inspired magnificent artistic creations and sacred texts. In fall and winter, we focus on the first thirteen centuries of the tradition, from the life of Christ to the end of the Medieval period, during which the story of Christ's life, death and resurrection helped transform the Roman Empire into Europe and "the West." During this time, Christians, like Muslims and Jews a "people of the Book," gave the world some of its most inspired, and inspiring, books: the New Testament, the works of Anselm and Augustine, Dante's Divine Comedy , and others, which will form part of our curriculum.

The role of images in religious practice will form another part of our study. We'll consider the functions of icons, reliquaries, church architecture and devotional images, created solely to express and link us to the sacred. We'll consider the strategies image-makers employed to interpret scripture and early theology, as well as the anxieties and iconoclasms provoked by images that attempt to depict God. Through readings, seminars and lectures, we'll explore the history of images and objects made before the the concept of "Art" as we understand it today was established.

In spring, the focus on the history and culture of Christianity through the 14th century will be directed toward more focused topics addressing meaning-making and Christianity. Students will have the option of continuing in the program in one of the following focused, full-time disciplines or themes: recent developments in theology and philosophy (Andrew), communities of faith (Rita), or studio-practice in printmaking (Lisa). Spring components of the program will be open to both continuing and newly enrolled students.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 30th, 2011 This program will be offered in Fall/Winter only.
November 18th, 2011 This program will not accept new enrollment in winter quarter. Lisa Sweet is leaving the team; enrollments have been lowered.