Fall 2022 Courses
Great Texts Upper-Level Courses - Fall 2022
Wayfarers All: Exile, Pilgrimage, and Hope in the Middle Ages (GTX 3320)
Dr. Melinda Nielsen – TR 11:00 – 12:15
We are wayfarers: in this life we find ourselves midway wandering “in a dark wood,” as Dante famously begins the Commedia. Medieval writers called man a homo viator: one journeys in hope, longing for divine happiness and yet alienated from it. In this course we will explore their visions of order and stability; exile and estrangement; and the quest to regain a joy greater than what was lost. Readings include The Consolation of Philosophy, The Rule of Saint Benedict, Spiritual Friendship, selections from Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, the Gawain poet, and the Canterbury Tales.
Great Texts in Christian Spirituality (GTX 3331)
Dr. Kristen Drahos – MW 1:00 – 2:15
This seminar focuses on great texts in Christian spirituality and devotional literature, considering how Christians throughout history have understood and sought relationship with God and their fellows. Students will read authors who have shaped the personal, communal, and practical contours of the life of faith and discuss the impact of their ideas upon contemporary Christian living. Readings may include texts by Origen, Evagrius, Augustine, Maximus Confessor, Richard of St. Victor, Catherine of Siena, Julian of Norwich, John of the Cross, Thomas á Kempis, Luther, Traherne, Bunyan, John and Charles Wesley, Kierkegaard, Chesterton, Hopkins, Annie Dillard, and others.
Great Texts in the Origins of Science (GTX 3343)
Dr. Eric Martin – MW 4:00 – 5:15
If humans have always sought to understand the world, what is distinctive about the methods, philosophies, or institutions that developed from antiquity to the Early Modern period that we recognize today as “science”? What characterizes scientific inquiry, and does science have the ultimate authority to pronounce on matters of reality? How were religious world views entwined in the beginnings of scientific thought, and has science now superseded religious understanding? This course will investigate such questions through engagement with primary texts in the origins of science, including selections from Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Galileo, Newton, and Boyle. The class will help students navigate difficult questions about science’s multifaceted history, its place in society, and its philosophical significance.
Great Texts in Business: Success, Wealth, and the Imagination (GTX 3351)
Dr. Scott Moore – TR 9:30 – 10:45
In this course, we will read and discuss some of the great texts that address questions of business and commercial life. These texts may include historical and/or philosophical treatments of business, such as Adam Smith's Of the Wealth of Nations, Thomas More's Utopia, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, as well as literary treatments of business, such as Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Dickens's Hard Times, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Forster's Howard's End, Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, or short stories by Flannery O'Connor, Franz Kafka, or Wendell Berry.
Great Texts on the Principles of the Liberal Arts (GTX 3360)
Dr. William Weaver – TR 12:30 – 1:45
An introduction to how historical disciplines of grammar, logic, and rhetoric have shaped and continue to shape the reading and writing of great texts. Primarily designed for students exploring vocations in teaching great texts and/or graduate study in the humanities, it is open to all interested in thinking through vocation in terms of classical ideals of learning. Through an examination of representative texts and traditions, we will get in focus a vision for ordering study within a capacious and inspiring framework.
Great Texts of the 18th & 19th Centuries: The World Comes of Age (GTX 4320)
Dr. Barry Harvey - MW 2:30 – 3:45
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were a time of great upheaval when old landmarks were uprooted and new certainties proposed; it was a world that proudly thought of itself as having come of age. As one historian of this period puts it: “It was the age of science, it was the age of philosophy, it was the age of enlightenment. Everywhere the scientists were philosophers, and most of the philosophers were scientists…They had emancipated themselves from…the past of ignorance, credulity, and superstition—and now with tireless curiosity and feverish impatience, they hurled themselves upon a new world and a new universe. They were not interested in the next world; they were interested in the world about them, the world of Nature, society, politics, and law; they were interested in Man.” To get our bearings in such tumultuous times we shall read a variety of works: aphorism, storytelling, philosophy, social theory, and theology. Our authors come from France (Rousseau, Voltaire), Great Britain (Austin, Newman, Eliot), Germany (Kant, Marx, Nietzsche), Russia (Dostoevsky), and America (Edwards, Douglas, Melville).