The Seven Deadly Sins: Representing Vice and Virtue in Christian Tradition


This course will trace the motif of the seven deadly sins in Western tradition, exploring two methods of understanding human psychology and behavior: the philosophical school of virtue ethics, which provides an account of how our actions and habits shape our characters and identities, and the artistic technique of allegory, which externalizes our inner life in vivid, sometimes shocking images, characters, and stories. Readings are drawn from philosophy (Aristotle, Aquinas), literature (Dante, Chaucer, Spenser), art (Giotto, Bosch), and present-day pop culture. Course assignments include both analytical essays and creative projects.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • EI
  • W
  • ALP
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • ENGLISH 330
  • ETHICS 318
  • MEDREN 353
Typically Offered