One Week Down
Currently, I'm registered as a double major - history and literature - but I'll end up dropping history to a minor, alas. Let the history department mourn my passing! I'll still be taking as many history classes as I can fit in, though. This semester I have two core required classes - Medieval Philosophy and Moral Theology. I am taking two history courses, Historiography and Tudor-Stuart Britain. I'm also taking two literature classes - English Novel and Literary Criticism - and auditing a third, Modern Catholic Fiction.
Here's a quick look at the class descriptions from my syllabi for this semester!
In this course we will survey the medieval philosophical tradition as it culminates in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. We will then trace the departure from that tradition as a prelude to the study of modern philosophy.
The purpose of this course is to cover the ground known as "fundamental moral," i.e. to give the student a familiarity with fundamental ethical and meta-ethical questions; to show how an objective and universal morality can be justified (natural law) and how it serves as a basis for the revealed morality of the New Testament.
Historiography is the study of how history is written. Far from being just a chronicler of events, the historian also interprets them, and these interpretations flow from the author's basic worldview. As a result, scholars read the same historical subjects in a variety of ways, even ones that are sharply at odds with one another. This course will expose students to various approaches to historical scholarship, with particular emphasis on Christian ones. It will thus help equip them to do original research and to read works of history more thoughtfully and critically.
Tudor-Stuart Britain is a one-semester lecture and discussion course that is intended to survey the essential events, developments, and characters of Great Britain during the early modern period, from 1485-1714. During this time England transformed itself from a relatively minor, feudal, European state into a constitutional monarchy, a force dominating its neighbors in the British Isles - Ireland, Scotland and Wales - and by the end of the period, the most powerful nation on earth. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with the political story of early modern Britain, and will become familiar with recent work in British social economic, and cultural history, with an especial emphasis on the history of religion in the islands during the reigns of the Tudor and Stuart dynasties.
This course seeks to develop the student's knowledge of the fundamental ideas and trends in the history of literary theory and criticism from classical antiquity to the present day. Through guided engagement with - and evaluation of - a survey of major texts representing the most significant critical methodologies and aesthetic philosophies in the Western tradition, the student will gain fluency in the history of ideas about literature. Concurrently, the student will attempt to evaluate these ideas through application as he reads a great work of literature critically.
The English Novel
This course studies the emergence and development of the novel as a genre of English literature. Close attention is paid to the novel's antecedents among other literary forms, to the genre's characteristic techniques in style and structure, and to historical, social, and philosophical trends in England which are associated with the novel's establishment as a dominant literary form.
Modern Catholic Fiction
Through a survey-style study of stories and novels by notable Catholic authors, this course seeks to impart to the student a broad knowledge of the nature, themes, and achievement of Catholic literature produced in the period from the early 20th century to the present.
Besides six classes and an audit, I'm also the president of the Legion of Mary here on campus. We had our first meeting last night - despite my nervousness, it seems to have gone off fair enough. This will continue to be a challenge, both on a personal and administrative level, throughout the coming semester. Please pray for me - I am pretty sure this is God's will for me to do, but it will take a lot of work.
In the mean time, I'm trying to prepare for my semester in Rome which is coming up far too quickly. There's so much to get ready, and having to do it all while at school is making me second-guess my decision to go in the spring instead of the fall. On the other hand, I'll have the great gift of experiencing Lent, Passiontide, and Easter in the Eternal City. For all Catholics, Rome is really our city. I know that no matter what else I do while I'm Europe, just being in the Holy City will be the experience of a lifetime.
So, as always, I'm doing my best to put everything in the hands of God and relax! That is the hardest thing for this prideful choleric to do!
God keep you all!