411- Flannery O’Connor’s Religious Imagination

We will read and discuss five of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories to explore her religious imagination. The list will likely include the following stories; RevelationParker’s Back, The Artificial Ni**er, Greenleaf, and The Lame Shall Enter First.

410 – Poems Everyone Should Know

Joseph Pearce offers a five-week seminar on some of the greatest and most influential poetry ever written. It will include in-depth line-by-line expositions of two “difficult” poems, one by Hopkins and the other by T. S. Eliot, as well as surveys of some of the most significant Romantic poetry and war poetry. The poets studied will include Hopkins, Eliot, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Chesterton, Owen and Sassoon.

409-Moments in and Out of Time: A Journey into T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets

What is the point of a poem? And what happens when ideas and images meet with time and place in the mind of a poet? Is this moment of value only to the poet as a private possession? Or are those times and places themselves enhanced by becoming springboards for works of art? In this course we will make a sojourn into Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot’s cycle of poems completed during World War II and well after his conversion to Christianity, not only to discover how the poems came to be composed but, more largely, to explore the confluence of familiar strains of human experience, from religious faith to history to landscapes to hiking to eating to drinking to music, and see how poetry that arises out of speculation on all of these can heighten our senses of the real and the possible and the eternal. We should all have a little poetry in us, so together we will wrestle—and lounge—with T.S. Eliot, an Olympian of the craft.

408-Early Christian Fathers

Instructor: Dr. Dan Sheffler
Term: January 5-February 2, 2021
Class Time: Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT

Students will read several short works from the “apostolic age” (Clement and Ignatius), and from the period of the “apologists” (Justin Martyr, Tertullian). They will also discuss a number of controversies that troubled the early church (Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus), and learn about the conversion of the Roman Empire (Augustine).  Finally, students will study the transition to the middle ages as Christianity becomes fully ascendant (Boethius).

602-The Development of Political Theory and Government

Instructor: Dan Sheffler
Term: January 5-May 4
Class Time: Tuesday, 7-9

A study in the classic texts of political philosophy, addressing the questions faced by both ancient people and people today: What are the ends of political life? What is the best form of government to serve these ends? What is the proper relation between government and the individual, and between government and religion? Authors covered include Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, the Old and New Testaments, Tacitus, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, William Shakespeare, Montesquieu, Rousseau, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Hegel, and John Stuart Mill.

604-Religion and Theology

Tutors: Dan Sheffler, Rev. David Charlton, Thomas Cothran, Jerry Salyer
January 5-May 4
Class Time: Wednesday, 7-9

In the end, all questions are theological. Pagans and Christians, atheists and saints have all shaped every aspect of the Great Conversation by the way they think (or don’t think) about God. In this course, we will try to develop an appreciation for the broad sweep of this history beginning with the Greeks, moving to the Christian middle ages, and ending in modernity. This class will not be a course in Christian systematic theology as you might expect to find at a seminary. Instead, we will be reading broadly from literature, drama, philosophy, epic, and scripture in order to learn how mankind has thought about God, eternity, the soul, ultimate meaning, and worship.


607b-Imaginative Literature

Instructor: Professor Carol Reynolds
Term: January 5-May 4
Class Time: Tuesday, 7-9