Sacred Intersections: The Arts of Medieval Christianity and Middle Islam


Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarters

Taught by

poetry and literary arts, community studies/Middle East studies, journalism
art history

Sacred Intersections focuses on a thousand-year period of Christian and Islamic art, art history, poetry, and mysticism. As the program continues in Winter quarter, we will turn our attention to a time of, roughly, the 12th through the 14th centuries. This was a period that built on the creativity, spirituality, and change of the previous era and took the arts to new heights through creative and cultural fusion. We will study the motivating ideas and issues of the age: the mystical poetic traditions of the Persian empire (present-day Iran and central Asia) and their influence on contemporary poetry; the awe-inspiring forms of Gothic architecture, and the poetry of the Beguine mystics (of present-day Germany).  The idea that both mystic and artist were “seers”—seeing beyond the physical into the transcendent and metaphysical—impelled them into visionary realms. We will examine poets such as Rumi and Hafez and other charismatic figures.  We will study illuminated manuscripts, mosaics, stained glass, sculpture, and sacred architecture of European and Byzantine Christendom and Islamic empires stretching from Spain to Central Asia.  Art workshops will enable students to move from theory to practice. Class time will be divided among the following activities: faculty lectures, art workshops, seminars, writing, films and a possible field trip to a local mosque. This program is preparatory for further study and/or careers in the visual arts, education, museum studies, religion, communication, international relations, history, and writing.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

visual arts, education, religion, communication, international relations, history, writing

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 5:30-9p Tue/Thu


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

Fall: $25 for museum and concert entrance fees; Winter: $50 for art supplies


Date Revision
November 12th, 2013 Winter Required Fees increased.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Fall); 8 (Winter)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 10030

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 20012

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