Desert Seminar

ERC87  “God, Satan, and the Desert Experience” (1-Credit )

 Fall 2018 and Winter 2019, Tuesdays 3pm.

“Do you imagine the universe is agitated?  Go into the desert at night and look out at the stars.  This practice should answer the question.”  (Zhuangzi)

This course provides a basic introduction to the desert and offers contrasting cultural perspectives on desert environments, from antiquity to the present. The desert has been depicted as a place of trial and punishment, as wilderness and wasteland, and as the abode of Satan.  Yet, the desert was also recognized as a potential source of vast resources and as an ideal setting for pursuing enlightenment. This seminar combines classroom activity with a weekend experience in the Colorado Desert (a region of the Sonoran Desert) at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in eastern San Diego County.  With more than 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert SP is the largest state park in the American West. There is a $95 fee for this excursion which covers the cost of transportation, food, and equipment. The weekend desert trip will be in early November in fall quarter and in February in winter term.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”  (Gospel of Matthew 4:1)

“What makes the desert beautiful…is that somewhere it hides a well.”  (The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)


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