MAJOR IN HUMANITIES
The Humanities Major offers interdisciplinary courses that get at the heart of what it means to live a deeply human life. For many of our students, Humanities offers a fantastic opportunity to complete a double major.
As a Humanities major, you will take our four Gateway courses—God, World, Society, and Human Person—that ask the fundamental questions that all humans have to ask: What does it mean to be a human being? How do I relate to my family, my friends, society, politics? Is there a God and what difference does it make if there is? What is my relationship to the natural world and how do I care for it?
As you move through the major, you will take elective courses that draw upon these questions with greater discipline specificity. Fiction, verse, art and architecture, philosophy, theology, politics, economics, and history provide worlds of wisdom for students and faculty to explore together.
Our curriculum allows you to shape the major according to your interests. You will crown your Humanities experience with our signature Senior Symposium in your last semester at Villanova, where you’ll write an integrating senior essay on a topic you choose in consultation with your advisor for a deep immersion in your driving intellectual loves.
EXPLORE THE MAJOR
HUM 2001: Is there a God and what difference does it make if there is?
This course analyzes how modernity has shaped the ways Christians approach questions about God. It considers modern critiques of religion that help us to understand our own sense of religion. We examine what Christian claims about God mean, and whether they are well founded. We explore central questions about the nature of divine life and what those questions reveal about the nature of human life.
HUM 2002: What does it mean to be a human being?
What it means to be human has been called into question by intellectual movements that understand the human person as determined by biology, economics, historical trends, or inescapable networks of power. This class re-evaluates these prevailing cultural assumptions and asks questions that go to the heart of what makes us human: What is human nature? What is happiness? How can we discover meaning in our experiences of love, mortality, work, and contemplation?
HUM 2003: What can I know about the natural world around me and my place in it?
Modern science offers the dominant but not the only way of interpreting the world. The natural world has always offered a mirror for humanity: the way we look at and understand the world affects how we think about ourselves, and vice versa. In this class, we consider the conceptions of the world most common today. By discussing their origins, presuppositions, and implications, we hope to deepen our understanding of the world and our place within it.
HUM 2004: How do I relate to my family, my friends, society, politics?
We live in a time when political, economic, and family life compete to occupy our horizon of concerns. Our culture is often cynical about the possibility of finding meaning in these fundamental aspects of human society. How is our dependent, rational nature developed in society through marriage, family, work, markets, and government? How can we engage in these areas of human life in ways that are genuinely good for us?