Jul 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 81 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 81 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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RELG - 306. The History of Satan


3 credit(s)
Within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the greatest problem facing humans in their relationship with God is that of sin. Each of these Abrahamic faiths has an account within its tradition of the rupture of the original harmony of this relationship between humankind and the Creator. Within the Christian tradition, out of which the Franciscan tradition developed, the disobedience of the first humans marks the entry of sin and evil into the created world, and leaves humans with a changed relationship to God-one in which they struggle to live according to God’s will. The Abrahamic traditions all likewise have narratives-whether found in scripture or in other important texts in the tradition-of a figure opposed to humankind, styled variously as the Adversary, Lucifer, Satan, Iblis, the Devil. If Francis of Assisi’s hymn, “The Canticle of the Creatures,” sings of the way God is praised through the creation, communicates the goodness of the natural world, and places creation into relationship with the creator, narratives including Satan or Lucifer often depict creation in rebellion against its Creator, and speak to the human desire to assert one’s own will as a show of independence. This course is an historical exploration into the origins, development, and significance of this variously-styled figure from the earliest references in Jewish scripture, to medieval and early modern literature, into the present day, by examining a variety of sources including theological works, literary texts, comic books, and other visual media.

Prerequisite(s): RELG 101  or RELG 121  or RELG 141  or RELG 181  
Attribute: ARTS, CFH, MRST, RSHS



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