Instructor: Dr. Carol Reynolds
Semester: Spring 2021
Time: Mondays, 7–9 p.m. EDT
Dates: January 3–May 2

Using masterworks of Romantic/Early Modern literature, we will explore together two archetypal themes: the conflict between Good and Evil; and man’s struggle to find meaning.  Goethe’s rollicking (I mean that), earth-shattering play Faust, Part I (1808) will set the frame for us. Then, we will proceed through Gogol’s ironic (and prophetic) short story The Nose (1836), Dostoevsky’s probing novel The Brother’s Karamazov (1880), Tolstoy’s incomparable novel Anna Karenina (1878), and conclude with Chekhov’s searing play The Cherry Orchard (1903). 

Instructor: Dr. Jay Wile
Term: Spring 2022
Time: Tuesdays 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. EDT
Dates: January 4–May 3

The great natural philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, “Nature has some perfections to show that she is the image of God, and some defects to show that she is only His image.” In many ways, this profound statement summarizes the findings of scientists throughout history. In this course, we will read selections from Archimedes’ On Floating BodiesPtolemy’s Algamest, Bacon’s Opus Majus, Copernicus’ On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Kepler’s Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, Galileo’s The Two New Sciences, Pascal’s Account of the Great Experiment Concerning the Equilibrium of Fluids, Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Newton’s Optics, Huygens’ Treatise on Light, Ray’s The Wisdom of God as Manifested in the Works of Creation, Lavosier’s Elements of Chemistry, and Darwin’s The Origin of Species. These selections will help students learn how natural philosophy built the foundations of modern science and the pivotal role the church played in shaping it.

Instructor: Dr. D.T. Sheffler
Term: Spring 2022
Time: Wednesdays 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. EDT
Dates: January 5–May 4

In this course we will attempt to formulate as a science what is really an art: the art of right living. We will reflect on the question, “How ought we to live? What is the good life for man?” This question, however, will draw us into further perennial questions about the very nature of goodness and duty, right action and right feeling, freedom and fate. These questions have been central to the conversation of the Great Books since the time when man learned to write, and we will see the same themes arise repeatedly in our texts over thousands of years. Hence, students will be asked to reflect both on their own answers to these questions and on the unfolding history of the questions themselves.

We will read: Plato, LachesGorgias; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics I–III, X; Epictetus, Discourses; Aquinas, Summa Theologica I-II QQ.1–5; Hobbes, Leviathan (selections); Montaigne, Essays (selections); Spinoza, Ethics Part V; Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding (selections); Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of MoralsCritique of Practical Reason, I.II; Hegel, Philosophy of Right III.I; Mill, Utilitarianism; Darwin, The Descent of Man I.IV–V.