Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts (RSA) is a program of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute that brings together artists, religious leaders, religious communities, humanities experts, and a broad range of publics from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives for sustained study, analysis, and discussion of religious texts in a classroom environment. Directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, these textual discussions, which explore the varieties of religious experience and understanding, provide the inspiration for creating new artistic works (e.g. music, poetry, fiction, drama, visual art, dance). Artists share their creations through exhibitions and presentations to members of the Central Indiana community, including religious organizations, congregations, schools, libraries, and community groups.
2020-21 Theme: Noah’s Ark and the Environmental Imagination
In a world in the midst of an environmental crisis and an unprecedented need for quarantine, the story of Noah provides a window through which to consider current realities. Where do the floodwaters reach first? What do we choose to preserve? What does it mean to be enclosed in our homes, as Noah’s family was sealed in the ark, a boat with neither rudder nor sail? Is there any longer a high ground to which we can escape? Through art, performance, poetry, and music we will explore the role of the artist in response to calamity. This seminar will compare the biblical flood story to the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The faculty list for the 2020-21 seminar is still growing. So far, the faculty include
- Anila Quayyum Agha, Associate Professor of Drawing and Illustration in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI
- Dr. Andy Findley, Adjunct Instructor in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI
- Dr. Jason M. Kelly, Professor of History in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI
- Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis
- Stefan Petranek, Associate Professor of Photography in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI
- Dr. Sandy Sasso, Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck
- Steven Stolen Host of WFYI’s Stolen Moments
- Dr. Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies at IUPUI
- Shari Wagner, Author and Indiana Poet Laureate (2016-2017)
Sessions will be held for 2 1/2 hours weekly for a total of eight weeks and will meet evenings from 6:00–8:30 p.m. on Sept. 24; Oct. 1; Oct. 8; Oct. 15; Nov. 12; Dec. 3; Jan. 14; Feb. 4