HP 003.04 and 004.04
Western Cultural Tradition III and IV

Prof. Charles Hefling Spring, 2000–2001

Carney Hall 413 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 to 10:50


In general, the same requirements pertain to the second semester of this seminar as in the first. Attendance at every meeting is expected except in the direst of personal emergencies. Beyond their physical presence, however, members of the seminar are expected to have read the assigned texts in advance and thought about them, and to be prepared to engage in intelligent discussion of the questions they raise. The chief requirement, in sum, is participation in the meetings of the seminar.

Writing: Each student will write three "short papers," three to five pages in length, due on Fridays in the first part of the semester as listed in the Calendar. General topics are listed; more detailed instructions will be issued.

There is also a term paper, fifteen to twenty pages in length, due in three installments: an initial plan with outline and report on research; a first draft submitted for criticism; and a final version due on the last day of class.

Examinations: There is no mid-term examination. There will be four "short tests," fifteen minutes long, at the beginning of the Fridays listed in the Calendar. The readings to be covered are also listed there. The date assigned by the Registrar for the final examination is given in the Calendar. Whether this will be a written, two–hour examination, or instead take a more untraditional form, will be determined as the semester progresses.

I I . GRADING The weight given to the various components of the course will be distributed approximately as follows.
Term paper, about one third (first version, about 10‰; final version, about 20‰)
Tests and final examination, about one third (tests, about 5‰ each; final examination, about 15‰)
Short papers and class participation, about one third (short papers, about 7‰ each).
Note that grades will be diminished by inordinate tardiness or inappropriate absence.
I I I . BOOKS REQUIRED The following books, available for purchase at the Boston College Book Store, contain nearly all the required reading for the seminar. (Certain other texts may be issued in photocopied form.) Note that students should equip themselves with the editions listed and no others. Athens and Jerusalem (Braman, ed.; volume 1 of the ‘Perspectives on Western Culture’ workbook)
Augustine, Confessions (Chadwick trans.; Oxford World’s Classics)
Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (Wright trans.; Oxford World’s Classics)
Cicero, On the Good Life (Grant trans.; Penguin Classics)
Dante, Divine Comedy, volumes 1 (Inferno), 2 (Purgatory), and 3 (Paradise) (Musa trans.; Penguin Classics)
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (Staniforth trans.; Penguin Classics)
Virgil, Æneid (Fitzgerald trans.; Vintage)


W 17 Jan Introductory matters

F 19 Jan Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, books 1 – 6

M 22 Jan Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, books 7 – 12

W 24 Jan Ecclesiastes (Bible)

F 26 Jan Job (Bible)
Short Paper #1: Analysis of the arguments of Job’s "comforters"

M 29 Jan Cicero, Discussions at Tusculum (in On the Good Life)

W 31 Jan Cicero, On Duties (in On the Good Life)

F 2 Feb Cicero concluded; no additional reading
Short Test #1: Marcus Aurelius, Ecclesiastes, and Cicero

M 5 Feb Matthew, chapter 1 (Bible)
Luke 1 – 4:13

W 7 Feb Luke 4:14 – 18:30

F 9 Feb Luke 18:31 – 24:53
Short Paper #2: (a) Why did Jesus die? (b) Jesus as teacher in Luke

M 12 Feb Virgil, Æneid, books I and II

W 14 Feb Virgil, Æneid, books III and IV

F 16 Feb Virgil, Æneid, books V and VI
Short Test #2: Luke and Virgil

M 19 Feb Revelation (Bible; chapters to be assigned)

W 21 Feb 1 Corinthians 1 – 11:1 (Bible)

F 23 Feb 1 Corinthians 11:2 – 16:24
Term Paper, part 1: Outline and research report

M 26 Feb Augustine, City of God, book XIX (in Athens and Jerusalem, 132–153)

W 28 Feb Augustine, City of God, book XIX (in Athens and Jerusalem, 153–169)

F 2 Mar Augustine, Confessions, book I
Short Paper #3: What Augustine says, and how, in the first book of Confessions


M 12 Mar Augustine, Confessions, books II, III, and IV

W 14 Mar Augustine, Confessions, books V and VI

F 16 Mar Augustine, Confessions, books VII and VIII
Short Test #3: Paul and Augustine

M 19 Mar Augustine, Confessions, book IX and book X through xxix (40)

W 21 Mar Thomas Aquinas on the topics of Theology and God
(in Athens and Jerusalem, pp. 199–210, 182–184, and 212–217)

F 23 Mar Thomas Aquinas on the topic of human happiness
(in Athens and Jerusalem, pp. 228–234)

M 2 Apr Thomas Aquinas on the topic of the virtues, cardinal and theological
(in Athens and Jerusalem, pp. 236-241, 246-248, and 250-255)

W 4 Apr Dante, Divine Comedy, volume 1 (Inferno), cantos 1–8, 13–15, 18, and 19

F 6 Apr Dante, Divine Comedy, volume 1 (Inferno), cantos 20–34

M 9 Apr Dante, Divine Comedy, volume 2 (Purgatory), cantos 1–5, 7, and 15–18

W 11 Apr Dante, Divine Comedy, volume 2 (Purgatory), cantos 26–33
Term Paper, part 2: first version due


W 18 Apr Dante, Divine Comedy, volume 3 (Paradise), cantos 1–5, 11–14, 21–24, and 26–33

F 20 Apr Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: General Prologue, Knight, Miller (with prologue)
Short Test #4: Thomas Aquinas and Dante

M 23 Apr Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: Prioress, Monk, Nun’s Priest (all with prologues)

W 25 Apr Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: Prologue to Wife of Bath, Wife, Friar, Summoner

F 27 Apr Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: Oxford Scholar, Merchant (with prologues, epilogue)

M 30 Apr Review for final examination
Term Paper, part 3: final version due

S 5 May Final Examination, nine o’clock a.m.