The Visual Culture of Modern Spirituality and Religion

Paul Ivey
Mondays 1 PM - 4 PM
November 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2021
Watch the video to learn more about this course

The Visual Culture of Modern Spirituality and Religion

Fall 2021
In Session
1 PM - 4 PM
November 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2021


Main Campus



In this course we will consider historical and contemporary examples of architecture and the visual arts concerned with defining and engaging the spiritual and the sacred. This series of lectures will cover primarily American examples of religious utopian communal settlement, outsider art, alternative, esoteric, and new age spirituality in art, architecture, and cinema, roadside religion, memorials, and contemporary religious art and architecture.

NEW - Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered both in person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first come, first served basis. All students attending on campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to attend in person will also have complete online access to the course including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration will open online on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All readings will be distributed to students electronically. 

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

School of Art

PAUL IVEY, a winner of three Humanities Seminar Superior Teaching Awards, teaches modern and contemporary art in the School of Art at the University of Arizona. He is also a recent recipient of the James Anthony Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence from the College of Fine Arts. His research interests include the built environments of alternative American religions and spirituality in contemporary art. His most recent book is Radiance from Halcyon, A Utopian Experiment in Religion and Science (2013), a revealing history of a surprisingly influential theosophical utopian community.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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