units

HSY2765

Faculty of Arts

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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Constant Mews, Nathan Wolski, Salih Yucel

Synopsis

This unit explores the literature of mysticism in a variety of religious traditions, in particular of medieval Christianity, Sufism within Islam, and of Jewish esoteric teaching, the Kabbalah. It will consider how mystical literature and teaching relates to any religious practice, its social function within any religion, and the extent to which it may challenge religious authority, while also drawing its discourse from a religious tradition. There will be opportunity to consider mysticism outside as well as within monotheist tradition. It thus raises questions about the nature of mysticism in its various forms, and its relationship to both rational and poetic thought.

Objectives

Upon completion of this unit, students will be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate awareness of the major theoretical issues relating to mystical literature within a variety of religious traditions.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the developments of mystical teaching in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, with particular attention to mysticism in medieval Christianity, Sufism, and Kabbalah in Judaism.
  3. Show understanding of the relationship between mystical literature and the religious tradition from which it emanates.
  4. Consider the historical context in which mystical teaching has emerged, and what social and political function it may play within a religious tradition.
  5. Demonstrate awareness of the major theoretical debates raised by the phenomenon of mysticism, and the question of whether or not it involves experiences common to different religious traditions.
In addition, third level students will have engaged in substantial research into the teachings and implications of at least two major mystical theorists within one or more religious traditions.

Assessment

Exercise (1000 words): 10%
Class Presentation: 10%
Assignment (2000 words): 50%
Take-home exam (1500 words): 30%

Contact hours

One 90-minute lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology
Jewish civilisation
History

Prohibitions

HSY2470, HSY3470, RLT2470, RLT3470, SHS3470, HSY3765