LibrlSt722: Special Topics in Contemporary Culture
Theology and Religion
Starting with classic works of theology by Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas, we will be examining the debates over the problem of revolution and war-what are the justifications for violent action, whether defensive or revolutionary? Does pacifism constitute the authentic message of the Gospels, or does it ultimately serve to leave intact conditions of injustice and oppression? We will look to works of theologians and philosophers such as Simone Weil, Reinhold Niebuhr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Stanley Hauerwas, the theologians of liberation, Catherine Pickstock, and John Milbank (who will be visiting UWM in December) in exploring these questions. We will pay special attention to the challenge posed by Nazi Germany to the pacifism of most of these thinkers, and examine the response of one (Bonhoeffer) who took part in the plot against Hitler.
The seminar will also look at works of fiction, both literary and cinematic, that raise these issues and often suggest unexpected interpretations. Films to be viewed include The Animatrix (2003), La Jete (directed by Chris Marker, France, 1962), and The Legend of Rita (directed by Volker Schlindorff, Germany, 2000). Fictional works may include narratives by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, graphic novelist Alan Moore, and G.K. Chesterton.
Books available at Woodland Pattern, 720 E. Locust Street, 263-5001.
Professor Paik's areas of research include world cinema, science fiction, theology, and political philosophy. He is currently at work on a book Utopia to Apocalypse, which deals with the transformation of the social order as explored by speculative narratives in film and fiction.
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