Another Year Begun!

I have been woefully remiss about writing here over this past week or two.  However, I do have a good explanation – I arrived back at Christendom College and have just completed my first week of classes.  Because my brain is so exhausted after a long summer of little mental stimulus and now sudden bombardments of complicated philosophical reasoning, I have no ability to concoct an intelligent article or essay.

On the first day of class, when we get our syllabi, each professor generally provides a course goal, description, objectives, etc.  These serve as a thesis statement, essentially, for the rest of the semester.  Therefore, I thought that it might be amusing for you, my readers, to see what I will (hopefully!) be learning over the next few months.  Also, I have included the texts that we are using for each class.

Philosophy 201: Ethics

Required TextsBasic Works of Aristotle

Course Goal: To gain a better understanding of the end of human life and of what is involved in human moral behavior.

PSAE 201: Principles of Political Theory

Required Texts – Aristotle, The Politics

St. Thomas Aquinas, Political Writings

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and other Later Political Writings

Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and Other Essays

Brief Introduction:  The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental principles of political theory through a historical survey of Western political thought.  We will examine how each of the thinkers addressed enduring problems of political theory in his given historical context.  Each gave a different account of the relationship between faith and reason, between speculative wisdom and practical wisdom, and between man and nature.  Particular attention will be given to the development of Classical and Christian political thought and to the transition from pre-modern thought to Modernity.  It is hoped that this course will help students understand the maladies of modern politics, in order that they may apply themselves to remedying those maladies and contribute to the restoration of all things in Christ.

History 201: History of Western Civilization III: The Division of Christendom, 1291-1715

 Required Texts: The Glory of Christendom and The Cleaving of Christendom, Warren Carroll

On Christian Liberty, Martin Luther

The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, John Calvin

A Reformation Debate, John Calvin and Jacopo Sadoleto

New Atlantis, Francis Bacon

Course Description: In this course, we will explore the dynamics of western history in the later Middle Ages and the early modern era, which witnessed a profound centralization of power in individual European kingdoms, a corresponding decline in the political authority a nd prestige of the papacy, a complex set of cultural and intellectual phenomena known collectively as the Renaissance, the collapse of Christian unanimity during the Protestant Reformation, and a series of deep spiritual and institutional reforms within the Catholic Church.  Other important themes will include European exploration and colonization in Asia and in the Western Hemisphere, European religious wars, and the earliest beginnings of the Enlightenment.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the course, the students will:

-be able to identify and explain in writing the significance of many crucial persons, places, dates, and events in the history of Western Civilization between 1291 and 1715

-be able to write synthetically about broad changes in Western Civilization between 1291 and 1715

-significantly improve their abilities to read primary sources from a historical perspective and in historical context, considering what such sources can tell us about past people and events

-significantly improve their abilities to discuss historical primary sources orally, offering thoughtful analysis

-significantly improve their abilities to develop a thesis and support a written argument about a specific historical question, using one or more primary sources

English 201 – Literature of Western Civilization III: The Medieval and Renaissance Tradition

Required Texts – Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. J.R.R. Tolkien

The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer

Everyman and Other Miracle & Morality Plays

Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

Macbeth; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Paradise Lost, John Milton

The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope

“A Modest Proposal”, Jonathan Swift

Immortal Poems of the English Language, Oscar Williams

Objective – To become critically conversant with major literary works that both reflect and inform key ideas and images in the intellectual, spiritual, and imaginative life of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in England (14th-17th centuries.)

Theology 201 – Introduction to the Old Testament

Required Texts – Bible, packet of supplementary readings

Course Description -  The books of the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Wisdom literature, comprising the full Alexandrian Canon, are read according to the norms of Catholic exegesis.  The themes of divine sovereignty, grace, covenant, sacrifice, and messianic expectation will be traced from their origins to the close of the Old Testament canon.

Course Objectives – To gain a general orientation to all books of the Old Testament that is sufficient for further, advanced study, such as Theology 331: Old Testament Exegesis.  Some books will be examined in detail, while others will be surveyed more briefly.

To learn how to use ancient and modern techniques of Catholic exegesis in accordance with the rule of faith.  Examples of patristic and medieval commentary will be used to illustrate how the spiritual senses can be used to interpret a Biblical text.  Modern form-, source-, and historical-critical methods will also be presented and evaluated.

English 417 – Old English

Required Text – Peter S. Baker, Introduction to Old English

Course Description – An introductory study of Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain from the sixth through the eleventh centuries, with a focus on early West Saxon, with reference to Anglo-Saxon history, culture, and literature – the linguistic and literary heritage of the English-speaking peoples.

Course Objective – To understand the place of Old English within the history of the English language and to grasp the basics of OE grammar, phonology, morphology, syntax, and poetics in order to begin to read and appreciate OE prose and poetry.


  1. Old English. SO JEALOUS!!! Save everything! And whom do you have for all these?


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