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EGL 64 W — Writing About Spirituality

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Sep 1
Drop Deadline: Jul 4
Units: 3
Tuition: $850
Instructor(s): Rachel Howard
Limit: 17
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 26—Sep 1
10 weeks
Drop By
Jul 4
3 Units
Fees
$850
Instructor(s):
Rachel Howard
Limit
17
Closed
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 Muslim 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 an online writing course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to gain substantial benefit from the course.

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, The Arroyo Literary Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, Berfrois, Canteen, The New York Times “Draft” series, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College, and later served there as interim director of undergraduate creative writing. She has also taught in the MFA program of Saint Mary’s College.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)