Desert Seminar

ENVR87  “God, Satan, and the Desert Experience” (1-Credit )

 Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019:  Tu 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 Environmental Studies seminar 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 February 16-17.

“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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