2019-2020 Syllabus


We will explore the story of Jonah in the Bible and the Quran and consider a variety of themes including the arbitrariness of unwarranted compassion and the desire to escape calls to human responsibility. When others cry out, Jonah runs away or sleeps. Might we see contemporary responses to crises through Jonah’s actions? What about the human desire to flee distasteful obligations? Through visual arts, poetry, and music we will explore the symbolism of the big fish as “reassuring womb” or “terrifying tomb” and the strange prophet who hates change but nevertheless brings it about in the end.


  • Anila Quayyum Agha, Associate Professor of Drawing and Illustration in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI

  • Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis

  • Sandy Sasso, Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck

  • Steven Stolen, Host of WFYI's Stolen Moments

  • Shari Wagner, Author and Indiana Poet Laureate (2016-2017)

  • Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies at IUPUI

Introduction in Religion


19 September 2019

Presenter: Sandy Sasso
6 - 8:30 pm


Jonah in Visual Art


26 September 2019

Presenter: Julia Muney Moore
6 - 8:30 pm

Jonah in Music


3 October 2019

Presenter: Steven Stolen
6 - 8:30 pm

Jonah in Literature


10 October 2019

Presenter: Shari Wagner
6 - 8:30 pm

Other Perspectives on Jonah


7 November 2019

Presenter: Joseph Tucker Edmonds
6 - 8:30 pm

12 December 2020

Open Discussion
6 - 8:30 pm

9 January and 16 January 2020

Artist Presentations
6 - 8:30 pm

6 February 2020

6 - 8:30 pm

20 February 2020

Exhibition Opening and Performances
Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis, 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260
5:30 pm reception; 6:30 pm performance

Art exhibit will run February 15 - March 29, 2020.

3 April 2020

Exhibition Opening and Performances
Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
6 - 9 pm