Reading Poetry Theologically

REL953
Fall 2016
T 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Area: 
Area V
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course will explore poetry as a form of theological discourse. Through close readings of individual poems and poetic sequences, students will consider how the form as well as the subject matter of the poetry open up new horizons for interpreting and articulating theological themes. Beginning with selections from Gerard Manley Hopkins and concluding with studies of contemporary poets, this class will examine how modern and late-modern Anglo-American poets have created fresh embodiments of a Christian perspective and contributed to the public tasks of theology.

Background Expected: 

No background required but training in literary studies a plus

Course Requirements: 

Readings:

            Weekly reading of one long poetic text or selection of individual poems and [regularly] some supplemental critical work by or about the poet 

Papers:

            Each student will write one shorter, 4-6 page paper due by the mid-term break and one longer, 10-12 page paper due by the end of the term

Class Participation:

            Students will be expected to participate in all of the discussions, and from time to time will be asked to prepare discussion questions or presentation material in advance of the class

Basis of Evaluation: 

Paper 1: 30%

Paper 2: 50%

Participation: 20%