Spring 2017

Material Culture of Religion in Late Antiquity

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-170


Mary Farag (Section 01)


What can artifacts and architecture tell us about religious practices? From the “Pompeii of the east” and Dura-Europos to Ravenna, the “new capital of the west,” this course will explore the material culture of religion in the Roman/Byzantine Empire, including Roman, Jewish, and Christian religious practices. We will apply interdisciplinary interpretive methods to examine paintings, sculptures, buildings, among other handcrafts. Special sessions will be held at the Amherst College Mead Art Museum and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum to analyze terracotta objects, textiles, mosaics, and coins. Though the focus will be on visual culture, we will also compare textual evidence to imagine the religious practices of the late ancient Mediterranean period and to critique the material imaginations of modern films.Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Farag.


Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Fine Arts for Non-majors


2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017