Religious Studies | Religion and Popular Culture
R102 | 25622 | D. Maldonado

The above course carries COLL A & H distribution and is a 2nd 8 wk

Who was or is Jesus of Nazareth?  The divine Word of the Gospel of
John?  The strong and mighty Lord of medieval liturgical poetry?
The symbol for all persecuted minorities of the controversial
movie “The Color of the Cross”?  The conflicted messiah of “The Last
Temptation of Christ”?  Or the funny, down to earth savior that
often has adventures with Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny in “South
Park”?  Instead of deciding who is the “real” Jesus of Nazareth, in
this course we will focus on how different depictions of Jesus
reflect the values, hopes, fears and anxieties of the cultures that
produced them.  In order to do so, we will focus on a variety of
sources from different time periods (biblical narratives, medieval
and contemporary literature, art, TV shows and cinema).  We will
compare and contrast and think critically of these sources in order
to reflect about the meaning and relevance of the many meanings that
Jesus of Nazareth has had over time.  Key topics in this course will
be religious tradition and its reassertions, challenges and
skepticism of tradition, the role of religious figures as
countercultural icons and the overall role of religious figures in
pop culture.  Students will be evaluated in two short reflection
papers (3-4 pages) and a final exam (two essay questions).