East Meets West: Encountering the Other in the Ancient and Modern Worlds (CL 290D.01S)
This first-year Messina seminar examines encounters between East and West as represented in the art and literature of diverse ancient and modern cultures. Through discussion of works from and about ancient Mesopotamia and Greece, the Roman Empire, the medieval Islamic world, the age of exploration, and the modern global community, we will explore (a) how cultures have defined themselves over time in relation to an Other, and (b) how the concepts of ethnicity, cultural relativism, imperialism, and the 'Orient' originated and continue to operate today. This course fulfills the Loyola Diversity requirement.
Dr. Nandini Pandey is an assistant professor of Classics at Loyola and has earned degrees in both Classics and English from Swarthmore, Oxford, Cambridge, and Berkeley. She teaches courses in Latin, Greek, and English translation, especially on the evolution of themes like love, revenge, and divine justice from ancient literature into modernity. She looks forward to introducing Messina students to the wonders and mysteries of the ancient world and helping them appreciate its continued relevance to modern society.
Identity, Community, and Love of “Neighbor”: An Introduction to Theology (TH 201.04S)
This course explores how the identity of a community—and the individuals in it— are shaped through an evolving understanding of their encounter with God and others. Particular attention is paid to the practical implications of how one’s individual and communal identity shapes the way one perceives others and how it shapes one’s understanding of moral demands in relation to the other. Along the way students will be introduced to the storyline of the Bible, including the development of Ancient Israel, the birth of Judaism, and the birth of Christianity out of its Jewish roots, Christianity’s intersection with Greco-Roman culture, and its development in thought and practice over time. This historical examination serves as the backdrop for thinking about our own individual and communal identities, and how they might shape our understanding of how we are called to live in our own place(s) and time.
As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, Dr. Claire Matthews McGinnis was an anthropology-sociology major and a religion minor, where she became deeply interested in religion from an anthropological perspective. She continued her studies in Christianity (and Judaism) at Yale Divinity School. Upon receiving a Masters of Divinity, she enrolled in the doctoral program at Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. She has taught at Loyola for more than twenty years. Her research interests include the Prophets, biblical narrative, and theological interpretation (how biblical texts can be read in relation to our present concern to love God and our neighbor.) She is also interested in the interaction of various cultures and classes within the U.S. A native of Baltimore, she very much enjoys getting students off campus to share with them what is vibrant, fun, and interesting about “Charm City.”
Geoff Norbert joined the Loyola community in 2004 leading Outdoor Adventures for the department of recreational sports. Geoff currently serves as the director of student engagement. In that role, Geoff helps to create programming for students in transition including New Student Orientation and Sophomore programs, and helps to shape leadership development for the Loyola undergraduate community. Geoff earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Loyola University and his B.A. from Gettysburg College.