Truth, Love and Happiness: The Promises of Ancient Philosophy (PL201.03V)
Given voice through Plato’s writing, the philosophical visionary Socrates emphatically states, “I prefer nothing if it is not true.” He teaches us how he became an expert in the art of love and assures us that we too could be happy if we knew the true nature of the Good. But how do we access the truth? And how should we understand our pursuits of love and happiness? In this course we engage the claims made by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, as well as those of Aquinas and St. Augustine, regarding three of the most sought after things in human life: truth, love and happiness. These thinkers challenge modern understandings of the natural world and our place in it, the purpose and possibilities of love and the real meaning of human happiness. Our study of Ancient philosophy may awaken a sense of dissatisfaction with ourselves as we stand and urge us to develop new visions of ourselves as knowers, lovers and pursuers of happiness.
Mavis Biss, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. She specializes in moral philosophy, with particular focus on Kant’s and Kantian ethics and conceptions of moral creativity. Her dissertation titled “Moral Imagination in an Ethics of Principle” was supported by a fellowship from the American Association of University Women and she has authored articles in History of Philosophy Quarterly, Hypatia and Philosophy Compass. She is currently working on the topic of moral self-perfection.
Seeking the Face of God: An Introduction to Theology (TH201.03V)
“Seek his face always” (Ps. 105:4). From Abraham and Moses to Paul of Tarsus, Augustine of Hippo, Ignatius of Loyola, and others, Jews and Christians have hungered to look upon the face of God and to participate in God’s vision of justice and love for humankind. Through study of selected readings from the Bible and the Judeo-Christian tradition, we will explore the vision of God, both as the human vision of God and God’s vision of and for humanity.
Angela Russell Christman (B.A., Ph.D., The University of Virginia) is professor of Theology and director of the Honors Program. She studies the theology and history of the first six centuries of Christianity, and in particular, the biblical interpretation in this period. She is the author of “What Did Ezekiel See?” Christian Exegesis of Ezekiel’s Vision of the Chariot from Irenaeus to Gregory the Great (Brill, 2005) and co-translator of The Church’s Bible: Isaiah (Eerdmans, 2007). Her current research is on the biblical interpretation of Ambrose of Milan. In her spare time she enjoys photography, hiking and birdwatching, travelling with her family, and weaving.
Kimberly Ewing (Ph. D., The Ohio State University) is one of the staff psychologists at the Counseling Center, and has been for the past 15 years. She loves do training and consulting with students, administrators, and faculty around appreciation for cultural diversity and issues involving women in our community.