CHASS Connect: 2008 - 2009 Sequences


The three courses which make up the Manifestations of Spirituality CHASS Connect sequence explore a very diverse set of aesthetic, religious and spiritual practices. When you have completed the sequence at the end of the year, you will have fulfilled 3 college breadth requirements; you will have reflected on religion and spirituality through your engagement with images, writings, and music. The discussions of global spiritual practices will provide you with ways to understand and value diversity and to identify life options at UCR and beyond.

Fall 2008
Art History, Malcolm Baker

Although we are used to seeing images-whether paintings or sculptures-in the context of the art museum, many of them were made for sacred use, sometimes in churches, sometimes for private devotion. We will examine debates and responses to questions about religious images at three critical moments: Germany around 1500, Spain and Latin America around 1650 and France around 1800. This course will explore the complex relationship between the aesthetic and the devotional and focus on how we might approach such works today.

Winter 2009
Religious Studies, Jennifer Hughes

This topical course explores religious engagement with the feminine sacred in Latin America from before the European conquest to the present. We will study Aztec goddesses, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian female deities, and the many manifestations of the Virgin Mary in Latin America. This is a interdisciplinary course that draws on History, Sociology, Anthropology, and Theology as well as, poetry, fiction, and art to examine belief, image, ritual, pilgrimage, etc. in order to introduce the student to the dynamic field of Religious Studies.

Spring 2009
Music, Jonathan Ritter

This course will explore the intersection of sound and spiritual practice, in the broadest sense of both of those terms. The formal music traditions of several major world religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism) will constitute part of our exploration, along with lesser-known religious traditions from around the globe. We will also examine the role and power of sound itself, as part of the natural environment and as part of the performance context of ritual.