Course Description

Augustine and Culture Seminars: Detailed Course Description

Course Titles:  Augustine and Culture Seminar: “Ancients” (ACS 1000) and “Moderns” (ACS 1001)    

Catalog Description:  These seminars focus on the question: Who am I? The first seminar contains readings from Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Greek and Roman antiquity, Augustine’s Confessions, and the Middle Ages and is dedicated to understanding the foundations of our shared intellectual tradition.  The second semester continues to address the question of identity with texts from the Renaissance to the present.

Course Guidelines:

ACS 1000 explores the guiding question of “Who Am I” and includes readings from each of the following:

  • Hebrew Bible (Genesis recommended)
  • New Testament (Recommended: Acts of the Apostles, Gospel of Mark)
  • Classical Greece (suggested readings: Homer, Plato (Symposium, Apology), Sophocles, Aristotle
  • St. Augustine’s Confessions (required)
  • Medieval Europe

ACS 1001 continues to explore the question of “Who Am I?” and incorporates readings from the Renaissance to the present, including:

  • One play by Shakespeare
  • One author who represents the Catholic Christian intellectual tradition.  
  • At least two texts off of the Moderns Elective Reading List, a list that contains some of the most significant authors and texts of the Modern era.

To advance students in the following skills of critical reading and inquiry, writing, speaking and listening:

  • Analyze and understand difficult and important classical texts;
  • Write clearly and persuasively, supporting positions with argumentation and evidence;
  • Communicate effectively orally, based on reading and in class discussion s with other students;
  • Work well and learn from other members of the class in a climate of mutual respect.


  • To further the development of a vital intellectual community of scholars and student- scholars who learn from each other as active participants in these first year seminars.
  • To help students apply new perspectives and make connections between the student’s own ideas and values and the texts, and between the texts themselves.
Dr. Ian Clausen and Student Karen McGuire
Dr. Ian Clausen and Student Karen McGuire. Prof. Clausen will mentor Ms. McGuire who will be doing research as a summer resident.