Courses in Fall 2014

CC101: The Ancient World

[course homepage] The first semester of Core Humanities introduces students to two fundamental components of the Western tradition: the world of the Hebrew Scriptures and the culture of the ancient Greeks. The course also considers the Babylonians and other peoples to whom the Hebrews and Greeks are indebted. Among the topics for the semester are: the character of a hero, the relationship between heroes and ordinary human beings, God or the gods, ancient cities, friendship and love, the meaning of justice. Key issues include the human experience of the divine; war (or man’s struggle with human and natural forces whose essence is strife); the development of logos (human reason or cognition) as a response to the divine and to the forces of nature; and the development of art.

CC105: Evolution of the Universe and the Earth

[course homepage] In the first-semester Natural Sciences course, students explore the physical sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry, and earth science. The main theme is the evolution of physical matter within the universe, “the story of stuff.” Perhaps the greatest benefit of CC105 is the understanding it engenders of how individuals personally, and humanity in general, fit into the universe. To promote integration among disciplines, throughout CC105 we will discuss the historical, philosophical, and theological implications of the scientific description of the universe.

CC201: The Renaissance

[course homepage] The third semester of the Humanities Core continues our multidisciplinary study with some of the most significant literary, artistic, musical, and philosophical works from the Renaissance, an era in which the foundations of the modern world were laid. The semester will carry us from the early fourteenth through the late seventeenth century, the late Middle Ages through the burgeoning of Renaissance humanism to the baroque period. We consider the origins of modern political and scientific thought and of the comic novel, the flowering of English poetry, Petrarch, Montaigne, Rabelais, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Descartes, and Milton, the music of Bach and the art of Michelangelo.

CC203: Foundations of the Social Sciences

[course homepage] This fall course introduces the social sciences within their historical setting. It will pursue major intellectual themes rather than attempt to cover each discipline separately. In the first semester, we focus on the emergence of the social sciences up to the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Our purpose is to outline the modes of thought, scope of problems, types of analysis and their significance in understanding the world. For this reason historical context plays a vital role in determining how the very societies we study have changed through time and helps explain why some problems received more attention in one period than another. The readings for each lecture theme are drawn from original sources in order to represent the most fundamental theories as they were first presented.