Perspectives I, Perspectives on Western Culture

  • Six credits philosophy
  • Six credits theology

Perspectives I is structured either implicitly or explicitly by the Socratic question, "what is the best way to live"? In the first semester, students deal with two of what may be termed "spiritual eruptions": the rise of Greek philosophy, and the Judeo-Christian experience of God's self revelation in history. These two spiritual eruptions are the principle foundations of Western Civilization, the relationship between Athens and Jerusalem.

The second semester begins by focusing on the ideas that mark the thinkers of the renaissance as typically and emphatically modern, despite their substantial differences. Instead of treating modernity as a simple process of secularization, the semester proceeds to examine not only the theological reactions to secularism say in Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Newman, but also the way theological concerns shape modernity, e.g., Luther, Kant, Hegel, Barth.

Reading List