Sophomore Level Courses

ENG 1975-H01 BEAUTY

HELENA TOMKO
TR 10:00-11:15 AM

“Beauty will save the world.”—Dostoyevsky

Where do we find beauty? Can beauty change us? Does it move us to love and to justice? Or does it mislead and seduce us? Does beauty walk rightly with goodness and truth, or is it a perilous distraction? Is it life saving or live destroying? These questions will guide our inquiry into the beautiful across disciplines and across centuries. We will read literary works by Dante, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Wallace Stevens, Zadie Smith, Walker Percy, and Karen Blixen. We will pursue the contested interpretations of beauty among thinkers such as Plato, Pater, and Aquinas, as well as more recent assessments by Jacques Maritain, Josef Pieper, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Iris Murdoch. With these great minds, we attempt to solve the mystery of whether beauty really can save the world.

Restricted to students in the Global Scholars Humanities and Good True Beautiful Cohorts.

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ENG 1975-H02 BEAUTY

JAMES M. WILSON
TR 10:00-11:15 AM

“Beauty will save the world.”—Dostoyevsky

Where do we find beauty? Can beauty change us? Does it move us to love and to justice? Or does it mislead and seduce us? Does beauty walk rightly with goodness and truth, or is it a perilous distraction? Is it life saving or live destroying? These questions will guide our inquiry into the beautiful across disciplines and across centuries. We will read literary works by Dante, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Wallace Stevens, Zadie Smith, Walker Percy, and Karen Blixen. We will pursue the contested interpretations of beauty among thinkers such as Plato, Pater, and Aquinas, as well as more recent assessments by Jacques Maritain, Josef Pieper, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Iris Murdoch. With these great minds, we attempt to solve the mystery of whether beauty really can save the world.

Restricted to students in the Global Scholars Humanities and Good True Beautiful Cohorts.

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ENG 1975-H03 TRANSFORMATION

MEGAN QUIGLEY
TR 11:30-12:45 PM

COURSE DESCRIPTION FORTHCOMING.

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ETH 2050-H01 THE GOOD LIFE: ETH & CONT PROB (SLC)

Allison Covey
MW 1:30-2:45PM

The course description for the Fall 2020 Honors section of ETH2050 reserved for members of the Sophomore Service Learning community is as follows:

ETH 2050 involves students in the ongoing conversation about what constitutes the good life. That conversation involves ancient and modern thinkers, both philosophers and theologians, struggling with questions that each generation seeks to answer: What is the good life? What does justice demand of me? Does it matter what I believe about human nature, or about God, or about society when it comes to how I live my life? Is being happy the same thing as begin a good person?

One goal of the course is to provide students with “toe holds” into this longstanding conversation. Another goal is to enable students to engage these resources as they might bear upon some contemporary moral challenge and/or reality. This is also a service-learning course; as such a third goal will be to integrate the service experience into our discussion of the texts we read together and the contemporary moral challenges that emerge in that discussion.

These goals will be accomplished through a combination of the following: reading some challenging texts, examining some contemporary moral challenges, and writing essays designed to synthesize the insights of the first two activities.

RESTRICTED TO HONORS SLC STUDENTS

 

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ETH 2050-H02 THE GOOD LIFE: ETH & CONT PROB (B&S)

BRETT WILMOT
MW 1:30-2:45 PM

This version of ETH 2050 has been designed to pursue a more in-depth engagement with ethics as it relates to business and economic topics. It is still important to understand, however, that this is not a business ethics course. We’re interested in general questions about ethics and the good life, but we will be exploring these themes through a closer examination of how we understand business activity and our participation in economic systems and institutions. The main objectives are to promote a more sophisticated grasp of the moral dimensions of human life and an increased awareness of our continued participation in complex, living traditions of critical reflection on what it means to be moral and how to live a good human life, particularly as these relate to our understanding of the role of business, and economic activity generally, in society. To this end, we will be spending a considerable amount of time on primary sources that cover economic themes, ranging from antiquity to the modern era.

RESTRICTED TO HONORS STUDENTS IN THE BUSINESS & SOCIETY COHORT

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ETH 2050-H03 THE GOOD LIFE: ETH & CONT PROB

JESSE COUENHOVEN
TR 1:00-2:15 PM

This course takes up an ongoing conversation about what constitutes the good life.  That conversation involves ancient and modern thinkers, philosophers and theologians, who struggle with questions every generation must answer:  What evils should be avoided?  What does justice demand of me? Of us?  Does it matter what we believe about human nature, or about God, or about society? How is being happy related to the endeavor to be good?  One goal of the course is to help students see how one moves from intuitions about what is right or good to being able to develop consistent and thoughtful opinions about moral issues. Another goal is to enable students to appropriate the conceptual resources made available in class, in order to bring them to bear on contemporary moral challenges. We will pursue these goals by reading challenging texts, examining some contemporary moral challenges, and writing essays designed to synthesize the insights of the first two activities.

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HON 1007-001 Interdisc Humanities III

FR. DAVID CREGAN
R 4:00-5:15 PM

This course will take a theoretical  and practical approach to the interpretation of dramatic texts and performances that deal with topics of gender, identity, subjectivity and cultural politics of the Modern Era.  Using play text in dialogue with performance theories and analysis this course will engage how the politics of culture is performed in both text and practice.  This course seeks to introduce the student to a variety of plays from diverse international theatrical traditions, live theatre experience, and improved understanding of academic critical writing for and about theatre.  It will seek an integration of understanding theory and practice which will enhance and advance writing and analytical skills as well as generate individual creativity through concepts for design, directing, and production

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HON 2002-001 INTERDISC HUMANITIES III: HIS

EUGENE MCCARRAHER
MWF 10:30AM-11:20AM

The idea of “progress” has dominated the Western world since the middle of the 18th century.  Scientific and technological development, industrialization, democracy, the “disenchantment” of ancient religious beliefs and popular superstitions – these and other historical changes of the last two hundred and sixty years have enlarged our knowledge of the world, extended the length and health of our lives, and multiplied our material comforts.  Thus, we’ve come to believe almost instinctively that “progress” has been unambiguously positive, and hope that it will continue indefinitely.  Yet these same processes of modernization have provoked profound and often militant doubt, criticism, and resistance, often from among the most learned and sophisticated representatives of modern culture. And at the beginning of the 21st century – with capitalist “globalization” in disarray, with climate change an unavoidable challenge, and with the emergence of a new religious “awakening” all over the world -- new quandaries about the meaning of “progress” have already begun to appear.   

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HON 2005-001 INTERDISC HUMANITIES III: ETH

MARK WILSON
MWF 11:30AM-12:20PM

This course examines selected themes in late eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-century Western cultural history.  Along with the emphasis on history, economics, and the social sciences provided by Dr. McCarraher’s part of Interdisc III, this course highlights theological and ethical themes as well.  Complementing Professor McCarraher’s considerations of progress, I will invite us to explore the moral and religious “self” that emerges in the wake of the Reformation and the Enlightenment.  One way to interpret Western modernity is to see it as a radical reimagining of the self and its relationship to others and the divine.  This story of progress entails the liberation of one’s authentic self from the tethers of tradition, superstition, and social convention.  The modern self, so construed, aims to be an autonomous agent whose loves, commitments, obligations, and beliefs (not to mention jobs, votes, and purchases) are freely chosen and self-expressive.  The ancient Delphic command to “know thyself” is in this paradigm a challenge to discern what is private, interior, and uniquely yours.

 As with all history, this story is one among many and is challenged by alternative visions.  We will explore these stories and the tensions between them with a focus on the way that they inform and complicate our contemporary experience.  When we eat, love, and pray, we do so as the children of a complex and often confused parentage in modernity.  By studying the works of 18th-20th century theologians, philosophers, and ethicists, we will attempt to better understand the operative and often overlooked assumptions we make about human nature, freedom, goodness, and God, and why (perhaps) our hope for progress depends on this. 

 

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Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405