ARH 160 Art Ancient & Modern: The Question of Beauty (fulfills 3 credit hours in the “Culture and Expression” area of the core curriculum)
This course surveys the history of Western Art from the Greek world to the present day, using the question of beauty as a unifying theme. The first class each week will introduce the art or architecture of the period; the second will use readings from period sources to understand how beauty was perceived and defined in that period. The course will have a particular emphasis on theories of beauty that recur in successive historical periods: beauty and mathematics, beauty and function, beauty and color, beauty and mimesis, beauty and effect. The course will also examine the concepts of ancient and modern that structure the Core Texts and Enduring Questions Program, considering how they can be mapped onto the history of art. The complication here is that where historians or philosophers tend to locate a fundamental move from ancient to modern at the end of the Middle Ages, art history sees things otherwise. There are powerful continuities in art between the classical and Renaissance periods, and between the medieval and the “modern” (in the art-historical usage that dates the advent of modern art to the end of the nineteenth century). These continuities are particularly evident when art history is viewed through the lens of changing conceptions of beauty: theories of proportion and harmony rooted in mathematics and music dominate the classical and Renaissance periods, theories either of signification or visual experience the medieval and modern periods. An examination of concepts of beauty then, will help students understand the categories of ancient and modern at a deep level, and see connections and echoes – as well as changes – across time.
THE 153 Revelation: Ancient & Modern (fulfills 3 credit hours as a second required theology course in the core curriculum)
This course introduces students to the major distinctions that typically differentiate ancient and modern theological understandings of the nature, status, and import of divine revelation. Through close readings of a series of classic, primary texts written by Jewish, Catholic, Islamic, and Protestant thinkers, this course familiarizes students with the fundamental questions and concerns that have traditionally animated the theological debates that modern religious thinkers have carried out with premodern religious thinkers. Prerequisite: THE 100.
PHI 245 Reason: Ancient & Modern (fulfills 3 credit hours in the “Great Conversation” area of the core curriculum)
Human intelligence takes many forms: common sense, mathematics, poetry, philosophy, science, engineering, and moral activity, to name a few. What, then, is our reason? What is the nature and proper use of this power at the origin of all our cultivated pursuits? The most universally acclaimed achievements of human reason have come through modern science, but this science itself gives no guidance for the use of its power. Does the contemporary critique of the modern form of reason (in the name of the environment, deconstruction, or religion) apply to reason simply? This course examines ancient and modern interpretations of human reason in core philosophical texts. Prerequisite: PHI 100 and any intermediate PHI.
POL 351 Republicanism: Ancient & Modern (fulfills 3 credit hours in the “Great Conversation” area of the core curriculum)
Is it possible for a political community to combine the rule of wisdom and virtue with popular consent? Can such a regime satisfy the need for both stability and energy? To understand why and how republics ancient and modern answered these questions, as well as why some republics succeeded and others failed, students will explore the theoretical and historical texts that illustrate the evolution of this political form. Rising above any particular party, policy, or platform, this course will distinguish the ancient effort to secure ordered liberty from its medieval and modern counterparts, throwing into specific relief the character of our own republican democracy and the challenges facing its success. Prerequisite: None.
Students must also elect to take two (2) of the following single book seminars:
THE 285 Augustine’s The City of God
Christians have long struggled with Christ’s injunction to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” For it is not immediately clear what things legitimately are Caesar’s and what things legitimately are God’s. It is also not clear what Christians are supposed to do when Caesar’s things come into conflict with God’s things. St. Augustine’s The City of God takes these kinds of problems as its point of departure, as it goes on to outline the origins, natures, and ends of what Augustine calls the earthly city and the City of God. This course helps students learn to read Augustine’s rich text, engage critically the enduring questions and tensions it raises, and reflect on the ways that Augustine’s classic work can still speak to us today. Prerequisites: THE 100 and any intermediate THE course (150-153).
PHI 351 Plato’s Republic
What is justice? Treating others justly is good for them, but is it good for the just person? Would it be better to be unjust, provided one can get away with it? Plato’s Republic begins with these vital questions and leads readers to examine, e.g., the nature of the soul, the city, the divine, knowledge, ethics, happiness, politics, poetry, and metaphysics in their interrelations. While some understand this book to depict an ideal city, others see it as a defense of despotism, and still others regard it as ironic or anti-political. This course helps students learn to read this inexhaustibly fertile text, to ponder the questions it raises, and to appreciate the power of a great book to enliven enduring questions. Prerequisites: PHI 100 and any intermediate PHI (151–154).
POL 358 Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
This course will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the democratic political order with the help of democracy’s most profound and sober critic, the great nineteenth century French political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville is best understood as a “friendly critic” of democracy: a friend because he is not a flatter. The centerpiece of the course will be a sustained engagement with a remarkably rich text that allows us to come to terms with the nature of politics, and American politics, in a democratic age: Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
CTEQ SPRING BREAK ABROAD
Select courses in the Program help to sponsor CTEQ students on class-related trips to major cities in the United States and Europe. Occurring during Spring Break, these trips fall on academic years that end on an even number (e.g., 2018, 2020, and 2022). Our next trip will be to Paris, France during the 2018 Spring Break.