ENG 603: Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell
This semester, we will read and discuss several medieval and Renaissance “visions” of heaven and hell. Our purpose will be threefold: to explore the intertextuality of these works; to determine—as best we can—how literary conceptions of the afterlife reflected and/or influenced popular attitudes toward piety, salvation, dogma; and to gain better understanding of why these works are still worth studying. Although our focus will be on texts composed from a Christian perspective, seminar members will be encouraged to consider depictions of heaven and hell that appear in other faith or philosophical traditions. Of course, it goes without saying that an overarching goal will be to enjoy discussing literature in an academic environment where all questions, issues, and views are welcome.