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Department of

Theology and Religious Studies

THRS 394/MUSC 340: Religion & the Performing Arts in Bali

Dates: June 5-26, 2014
Instructors: David Harnish and Lance Nelson
Site: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Further Information & Enrollment: International Studies Abroad
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Bali Arts and Religion

The Indonesian island of Bali is famous for its artistic culture, vibrant colors, and beautiful beaches. The Balinese welcome visitors, and the island has an ideal combination of traditional culture and modern tourist infrastructure. Southeast Asia is rapidly increasing in importance, both geopolitically and as a vibrant emerging market.

This course will explore the faith, practice, music, and dance of Balinese Hindus, particularly in terms of their highly developed ritual sensibility and their integration of music, drama, and other arts in their vibrant ritual life. It will be an interdisciplinary, team-taught course, and will include hands-on experiences. It will fulfil THRS or Fine Arts core requirements, as well as a number of major and minor requirements. For details, see the course brochure.

The course will be centered in the town of Ubud in south central Bali. Ubud is the cultural heart of the island, removed from the crowded tourism zone around Denpasar. The last two nights will be spent in Amed, a beach resort on Bali’s remote and tranquil east coast.

The schedule will include a three-day break that will allow for optional travel to explore other parts of Indonesia or South East Asia. During this period, there will be an optional one-night excursion to Central Java and the world-famous Buddhist monument of Borobudur. See below for further information.

Please consider joining us in Bali! Meanwhile, by way of preview, here's a short video (5 min.) featuring photos of Bali and the 2013 USD Bali program taken by Drs. Nelson and Harnish.

Religion & the Performing Arts in BaliYouTube Link

Optional Tour to Central Java and Borobudur

Java is the big island immediately to the west of Bali. Part of Indonesia, it is renown as a historical and cultural center. Most famous in this region is Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world and among most amazing sacred sites anywhere. In addition to being Indonesia's number one single tourist attraction, this unique, ninth-century temple-pyramid is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Definitely a place for your "bucket list," Borobudur and the nearby city of Yogyakarta placed 20th in the New York Times "52 Places to Go in 2014"* list. Dr. Nelson will be leading this two-day tour, which will include visits to other temples and cultural sites in the region. Cost TBA, but it will be reasonable. See the short video (5 min.) below, containing photos from Dr. Nelson's past trips to Java and Borobudur, for a preview.

Borobudur JavaYouTube Link

*To see Borobudur on the 52 Places to Go in 2014 list, click on "Asia" and scroll down to Yoygakarta. You'll see a big picture of Borobudur.