Literary Studies and the Arts

Applicants who approach the Study of Religion under this category will recognize in literary and other artistic artefacts a primary source and focus for their work. This will require training not only in the fields of literary/aesthetic theory and criticism relevant to their chosen traditions, but also an interdisciplinary willingness to engage in multiple methods around literary and artistic production. Students might pair literary reading to historical study, for example, and use literary texts to illuminate the religious thought and practice of a particular time and place, and vice versa. They might use a study of contemporary visual art to develop a normative or constructive moral theology. They could examine the popular music of a specific religious movement to reveal how constructions of race and gender have operated in structurally limiting or liberative ways. Possibilities for study abound. While admitting such great diversity of study, therefore, what will bind students under this approach will be a commitment to the deep study of literary and artistic texts, traditions, and theories, and the ambition to marry that commitment to other theories and methods within the Study of Religion in innovative ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luis M. Girón-Negrón

Luis M. Girón-Negrón

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature
Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D. Program in the Study of Religion
Ali S. Asani

Ali S. Asani

Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures
James Engell

James Engell

Gurney Professor of English Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature
Nicholas Watson

Nicholas Watson

Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature