Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Once every three years

This course will cover the evolutionary basis of the concept of evil and its representation in cultural productions of myth and religion, image and story. We will also look at the archetype of the Shadow and the psychology of projection, as well as the uses of demonization in political and military conflict. Readings will focus on the figure of Satan in classic and modern literature and religious texts. A centerpiece of the course will be a close reading of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and its relation to contemporary Islam. Other readings will be drawn from a list including the scriptural books of Genesis, Job & Revelations, Jung’s “Answer to Job”, Sura 46 of the Koran, selections from Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, Goethe’s Faust, William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” the Grand Inquisitor chapter from Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, Nietzsche’s The Antichrist, Elaine Pagel’s The Origin of Satan, the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, both play and film. We will also take time to study visual imagery from Bosch, Goya, and the Dore illustrations to Dante. Other weekly films may include The Exorcist, The Crucible, The Wicker Man, Angel Heart, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Seventh Seal. Students will learn to analyze and understand complex literary works in historical and cultural context. Evaluations to be based on two papers (8 and 12 pages) and one class presentation. The student presentations might expand the course into areas of contemporary popular culture and social behavior.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.