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EGL 64 W — Writing About Spirituality

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 9
Drop Deadline: Oct 4
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $850
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of Thanksgiving
Sep 26—Dec 9
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 4
3 Units
Please Note: No class the week of Thanksgiving
Our spiritual experiences stir our most urgent desire to communicate. We burn to share the questions and convictions that draw us to a reality beyond our limited selves. But how do we work with language to contain the ineffable? How do we write about spirituality without oversimplifying infinite complexities? How can our writing reach those who already share our beliefs and those who don’t?

In this course, we will read the work of inspiring spiritual writers representing a wide range of faith traditions, from the essays of Catholic memoirist Mary Karr to the Dharma talks of Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön to the contemplative journals of Hindu poet Kazim Ali. During our first six weeks, we will alternate between “reading weeks,” in which we deeply examine and contemplate our model texts, and “writing weeks,” in which we draft new work. During our final month, each student will workshop a longer essay or spiritual memoir. By reading published spiritual writers closely, we will find new ways to point to a truth beyond language in our own work.

Although the time commitment for this course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to participate at a substantial level.

Rachel Howard, Author

Rachel Howard is the author of a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, The Lost Night. Her personal essays have appeared in Gulf Coast; Waxwing; O, the Oprah Magazine; the San Francisco Chronicle; Berfrois; Canteen; The Arroyo Literary Review; and The New York Times Draft series. She received an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College, and later served there as interim director of undergraduate creative writing.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks