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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
GER 521 / MED 521 / MOD 542   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Topics in German Intellectual History - Mysticism and Modernity

Niklaus E. Largier

So-called 'mystical' forms of thought and experience have played a major role in the history of modern philosophy and literature from Hegel to Lukàcs, Heidegger, Bataille, and Derrida, and from Novalis to Musil, Celan, Bachmann, Klossowski, and Cage (to name just a few). In this seminar we first read key medieval and baroque texts. Based on the class discussion and on individual student interests, we then look into the ways how these texts have been read by 19th and 20th century authors and explore the impact they had on the discussion of modern concepts of subjectivity, affect, and agency.

Sample reading list:
Dionysius Areopagita, Mystical Theology
Mechthild of Magdeburg, The Flowing Light of the Godhead
Meister Eckhart, Sermons
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion
Martin Heidegger, Gelassenheit
Georges Bataille, Inner Experience
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students are expected to participate, to present in class, and to write a research paper (20-25 pages). The topic of the paper should be discussed with me before the spring break.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 75%
Class/Precept Participation - 25%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41589 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th   East Pyne Building   205   Enrolled:17 Limit:20