Religious Studies | Religion and Culture: Religious Asceticism
R660 | 28626 | D. Brakke

This seminar will examine asceticism as a religious practice and as a theoretical concept in
religious studies. We will consider in dialogue with one another two kinds of readings: (1)
texts that have been classically considered “ascetic,” drawn from late ancient Christianity and
from the Hindu traditions of India; and (2) modern theoretical explorations of asceticism
(Weber, Foucault, Flood, performance theory, etc.). The final weeks of the course will be given
to student presentations on ascetic texts and/or practices from the religious traditions and
historical periods of their interests.