Paradoxical Descriptions of Divine Beings

Student Name: Tiago Garcia Ferrer
Majors: English, Religious Studies
Advisors: Bhakti Mamtora & Bryan Alkemeyer

Most Joyful Award

Within almost every mythology on earth there are moments of revelation, moments of physical encounter with the gods, which play a major role on how their cultures perceive the divine.  This study argues that physical descriptions of gods are an active participant in the multifaceted relationship between mortals and divinities. To achieve this, this essay takes a large-scale comparative approach looking at literary examples of ten different cultures from around the world. These examples are separated into three sections: one dealing with the stories of some gods whose divinity is contingent on the clothes they wear; another examining almost incomprehensible descriptions of gods which nonetheless attempt to teach a hard theological lesson; and the last one exploring some examples where revelation itself is used as a form of punishment.

Tiago will be online to field comments on April 16: Noon-2 pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening).

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 6, 2021.

Related Posts

Megan Tuennerman '22

Wrong-way Icelandic puffins lead student researcher to follow the right path

Khaylen Mahdi ’22

Disciplined, creative thinker spotlights opportunity—not obstacles—in Black entrepreneurship

Bang Nguyen ’22

Siri-ously biased: Computer science major examines language models showing negativity toward LGBTQ+ terms

Related Areas of Study

Religious Studies

An interdisciplinary, academic approach to the study of religion that includes history, art, theology, and more.

Major Minor


Students benefit from the small classes and access to faculty members in the small private liberal arts setting at Wooster.

Major Minor

Connect with Wooster