Comparative Literature | Modernity & Religion
C400 | 1131 | Prof. Calinescu

Satisfies COAS Cultural Studies and meets with C611

This course will examine the development of the idea of modernity from
the Renaissance and the Reformation up to now, including what has been
called postmodernity. While the general perspective will be
cultural-historical, the literary implications of ideological changes
will be examined in some detail. Among the issues to be discussed will
be: the theological origins of modernity; Max Weber and his thesis
about the protestant ethic and the "spirit of capitalism"; the
Enlightenment, secularization, and its consequences; cosmopolitanism
and nationalism; Nietzsche's "death of God"; Marx's definition of
capitalism and revolution and his view of religion as "opium of the
people"; utopias and counter-utopias of modernity, including Aldous
Huxley's A Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984; various questions
relating to the lexicon of modernity, with an emphasis on such terms
as "modernism" (also in  a religious context) and "modernization".