Collège universitaire / Undergraduate Program / Enseignements / Teachings
•Demonstrate an awareness of the contours religious phenomena and their intersection with the larger complex of globalization and the political. •Demonstrate the ability to locate and utilize appropriate sources and research tools, and to document those sources/tools appropriately. •Demonstrate the ability to write effectively and to use evidence and logic in presenting appropriate scholarly concepts. Course Description : The sacred and the profane are categories which demarcate spiritual, social, and political life. Although taken for granted as being natural or sui generis, they remain rubrics of contestation and form the ground for a series of highly charged debates in contemporary intellectual and political history. Religion always returns and so too the sacred. Nonetheless, the sacred functions also a means of being religious without being religious – a sacred after religion. In addition, while the experience of the sacred can be deeply personal, the concept can also be deployed as an explicit political structure or means of thinking about social cohesion and community. This course will genealogically examine the various manners in which the sacred/profane distinction has been shaped and constructed in the modern and the post-modern thought as an ideological and imaginary structure, as an alternative locus of power and ethical life, and as a means of talking about society and its ills. We thus examine the sacred and profane distinction from a series of critical perspectives including inter alia, the phenomenological (limit-experiences, transgression, the body and sexuality), sociological (the sacred as the social/social fact), materialist (the sacred as meta-politics or a politics of politics), epistemological (the sacred as a type of knowledge or space of “knowing”) and the cosmopolitical (rethinking the sacred in terms of global transformation, and new religious movements). In addition, politics has never simply been about good governance, institutions, and administration. It is also a site of affect, feeling, and “belief.” Thus, we will also explore the dialectic of the secular and the sacred and also attempts to secularize the sacred and sacralize the political. Following from this, we study the category of “profanation” and examine various forms of iconoclasm, symbolic inversion, and corrosive critique. Melding together critical theory and case-studies, we engage with the sacred as not simply a “thing,”
but rather a dispositif wherein one ﬁnds myth, ritual, sacriﬁce, festival, material culture , magic, collective memory, and violence. We will also study the political bifurcation of the sacred and the profane and how this “religious” dualism has been recoded into the spectrum of left and right and how the sacred has been appropriated for both conservative and progressive political ends. Moreover, we will explore the so-called “return of religion” and various manifestations of the “post-secular” sacred and critically examine the implications of asking : “What is the modern counter-part to the sacred ?” We will also address recent debates concerning the return of “sacred politics,” terrorism and symbolic violence, the relationship between temporal and spiritual power, and New Age “second religiosity.” The sacred is an object upon which is projected the political fears and hopes of a given society. This course therefore traces how the sacred/profane distinction is a space of possibility and also deep fear concerning the possibility of collective life. Required reading : Emile Durkheim, the Elementary Forms of Religious Life ; Roger Caillois, Man and the Sacred ; René Girard, Violence and the Sacred ; Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane ; Slavoj Zizek, On Belief.
SAGA DES INTELLECTUELS FRANÇAIS : 1944-1968 (LA)
Semestre : Automne Nombre d'heures : 24 Langue d'enseignement : français
Enseignants : François DOSSE (Professeur des Universités). Prérequis : Une con