Department of Philosophy

Honors Humanities 101B: Medieval World

Semester: Spring, 2014
When:  Wed. 11:00; Fri. 2:00
Office Hours: T & F: 11-12, or by appointment
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Perricone
Office: Spellman Hall
Phone: 914-637 2765

Course Objectives and Description
Required Text
Grading Criteria
Course Outline

Course Objectives and Description

The Honors Humanities Seminar is part of the Honors Program's core curriculum. It is an interdisciplinary program which is designed to introduce students to the central concepts of philosophy, literature, history, and religious studies. The purpose of the course is to develop critical skills and qualities of mind necessary to a liberal education. This is done by introducing students to major writings in the humanities and by encouraging them to think about and discuss the ideas addressed in these works.

Required Texts:

The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Press
Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
Confessions, St. Augustine
Monologion and Proslogion, St Anselm
The Koran
Selected Philosophical Writings, St. Thomas Aquinas
The Romance of the Rose, De Lorris and De Meun
The Inferno, Dante

Grading Criteria, etc.

Unless told otherwise, students are required to read the pages designated for each assignment prior to the first meeting of the week. It is essential that each reading assignment be carefully completed. All lectures, discussions, and supplementary reading presuppose each student's completion of the reading assignments.

20% of the grade will be based on attendance oral participation, which includes critical responses to the lectures, class discussions, and class presentations.
30% of the grade will be based on two 4 page papers. Generally, these papers will not require outside research; rather they will be critical pieces in which a student will be asked to explicate selected ideas and then either support or refute those ideas with good reason. It should be emphasized that these papers are not to be thought of as book reports in the worst sense of those terms.
25% of the grade will be based on a final paper (app. 10 pages) that will discuss an issue or theme covered in the course readings. The paper will be submitted during the final examination week.
25% of the grade will be based on an oral presentation to the class, the length of which should be at least 20 minutes. This presentation will require outside research. On the day of the presentation, the student will submit an outline of the presentation and a list of the sources consulted. The presentation should be thoughtful and thought provoking, not merely a report or cut and past job of quotations from primary and secondary sources, The point, here, is that the student adopt a thesis and then with evidence and argument examine it. The two hour period is reserved for oral presentations.

Both plagiarism and cheating in any form are unconditionally unacceptable. Anyone who plagiarizes or cheats in any way will fail this course and will be reported to the dean.

You are expected to attend all classes. If you cannot attend class for some reason, you must let me know. If you exceed the number of cuts allowed to you by the college, you will fail this course.

Discussed in class

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: "Matthew"
Week 3: "Romans"
Week 4: St. Augustine, chapters 1-4.
Week 5: St. Augustine, cont'd.
Week 6: The Koran, chapters, 1-2, 10-15, 19, 21-23, 88-114.
Week 7: Selections from St. Anselm.
Week 8: Selections from Aquinas.
Week 9: Aquinas cont'd.
Week 10: The Romance of the Rose, Chapters 1-4.
Week 11: Dante, cantos 1-17.
Week 12: Dante, cantos 18-34.
Week 13: Chaucer, Prologue, The Miller's Tale, The Pardonner's Tale.
Week 14: summing up.

Topics for Medieval World

The Ethics of the Sermon of the Mount
The Resurrection Narratives of the 4 Gospels

Paul's relationship with Judaism
The Meaning of "Justification of Faith"

St. Augustine
The Legacy of Augustine in Christian Theology
Augustine and the problem of evil
Neo-Platonic and Roman influences on Augustine
Augustine and the Manichaeans

The Koran
Islamic Fundamentalism
Islam's relationship to Judaism and Christianity
Aristotle's influence on Islamic philosophy

St. Thomas Aquinas
The impact of St. Thomas on Catholic theology
Aristotle's influence on Thomistic philosophy
The nature of faith and reason in Thomistic philosophy
The role of asceticism in Christian thought

The Romance of the Rose
The nature and impact of allegory as a literary device
Courtly love and sexual love

Dante and the epic tradition
Dante and Christian philosophy
Dante on the nature of sin
The structure of the Divine Comedy
Dante's use of Virgil

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