Fasting as Spiritual Technology

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Fasting as Spiritual Tech
Fall 2023
Taught By: Katherine Kurs
Section: A

CRN: 14027

Credits: 4

From toxin-cleansing juice fasts to medieval nuns who claimed to survive solely on the Eucharistic Host; from the longing for Eden to hunger strikes for justice, this course traces the significance and practice of fasting as a spiritual technology within the context of western asceticism (primarily western Christianity) and “the pleasure of no pleasure.” Utilizing primary and secondary sources, and employing scholarly inquiry, textual analysis, and experiential learning/reflection, we will consider some of the meanings and uses of fasting and renunciation including: embodied petition for spiritual as well as socio-political ends; expiation and purification; sacrifice and repentance; an expression of mourning and of martyrdom; demonstration of spiritual athleticism; preparation for revelation; inducing altered states of consciousness; and the longing to transcend the flesh and the world. Particular attention will be paid to issues at the intersection of religion, gender, desire, the body, social status, and authority. This course counts toward the Gender Studies minor. After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Liberal Arts (LIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 3:50am EST 2/25/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 258
Date Range: 8/29/2023 - 12/14/2023