A centerpiece of the first-year learning experience, the Augustine and Culture Seminar introduces students of every college to the distinctively Augustinian ethos of Villanova.
Students in ACS study the great texts, ideas, and debates that have shaped Western thought and culture. They gather in small, discussion-based seminars for serious conversation about life’s fundamental questions, sharing their best insights in the spirit of friendship and the joy of discovery. Through this common work, they learn, as Augustine did, to seek the truth while striving for justice in the world.
In ACS 1000, students read the Bible together with the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, discovering in these texts different views of what it means to be human. This preparation leads to the Confessions, in which Augustine, immersed in both traditions, lives the tensions between them and seeks the possibility of their completion in Christ. Students also read one or more medieval authors, in whose writings the Christian synthesis of traditions endures and evolves for centuries after Augustine.
ACS 1001 continues the Augustinian pursuit of justice and truth in an investigation of modern culture. Students read some of the most important works written since Shakespeare, setting them against the backdrop of ancient and medieval authors and seeking to understand their innovations. For a critical perspective, the course gives special attention to the Catholic intellectual tradition and its ongoing mission to defend the dignity of the human person, recognize the need for human solidarity, and serve the increasingly threatened common good.