2013 Inquiry Seminars

Satan in Literature

Jonathan Steinwand

Do you ever wonder how Satan, the personification of evil, originated and became a major character in theology, literature and the popular imagination? Do you ever think about the purpose and impact of evil in the world? Do you like stories that make you wonder, imagine, and think? Do you like to read books that connect you with other times and places? In this seminar, we will inquire into questions about the historical transformations in human thinking about evil and temptation.

We will read a scholarly study of the history of the devil to examine the origins and transformations of Satan as the personification of evil. The primary texts will be the classics Dante's Inferno, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Goethe's Faust. In the last month of the course, students will work on projects investigating more recent and contemporary presentations of Satan and evil in films, art and fiction. OC