Course Schedule

Course Term
Course Attributes
Fall 2024

GER 160D1 – Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages
Gen Ed: Tier 1 Traditions and Cultures/160 · Gen Ed Attribute: Writing · Gen Ed Attribute: World Cultures and Societies · Gen Ed: Building Connections

This course introduces students to the culture and mentality of the Middle Ages, focusing on attitudes toward love, sex, and marriage. Concepts of the body, of human relationships, and hence of eroticism in its cultural significance will be highlighted. Students should learn that the discourse on love represented the central issue of social and cultural life in medieval times. The issue of love was not a matter of private, individual concern, but rather a topic of public debate. Love in the Middle Ages was seen as a highly sophisticated matter, in fact, almost a public art form. Nevertheless, despite its different appearance in literary texts, love in the Middle Ages was of similar relevance as it is for people today, so this course will connect the past discourse with the present discourse. We will examine the differences in approaches then and the similarities in ethical and moral concerns today. Also, love as a theme served as a point of public debate within the Church and outside regarding the meaning of life and human's earthly existence. The discussion in class will center on the main aspect of how medieval authors dealt with the erotic and love, that is, how they utilized the theme of courtly love to produce their literary works. But this course does not simply linger on the idyllic nature of love in the past, but brings to light also the dark sides, such as violence, betrayal, lying, etc. because the erotic and love are fundamental issues in all human existence, bringing joy and sorrow. The discussion of eroticism and love in the Middle Ages, specifically in its physical manifestation, will also lead to insights regarding spiritual epiphany, both in the past and in the present.

09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Aug 26 - Dec 11
54 / 150
  • Days: TuTh
  • Time: 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Dates: Aug 26 - Dec 11
  • Status: Open
  • Enrollment: 54 / 150