Loyola University Maryland

Messina

The Good Life Course Pairing

Theology & the Good Life (TH201)

What constitutes the good life? Wealth? Power? Fame? Fancy cars, fancy clothes, and a beautiful spouse? Philosophers and theologians have debated the question of what constitutes the good life since time immemorial. Our class will use Theology as a hermeneutic, an interpretative lens, for asking this important human question. Along the way, we will consider the narratives of the Bible, the wisdom and beauty of Christian teaching, and explore together how Christianity understands our shared human desire for happiness, peace, and the good life.

Faculty Biography

Matthew Moser is Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology, arriving at Loyola in 2013. He grew up in the Baltimore area, but he received his Ph.D. in Religion from Baylor University deep in the heart of Texas. He has written on 20th century Theology, religious accounts of knowledge, and Ignatian spirituality. Most recently, he has developed a love for The Divine Comedy by Dante, and thinks it is one of the most important texts students should read and argue with during their time at Loyola. He and his wife Kaitlyn make their home just outside the city where they can often be found frequenting coffee shops or out hiking in one of Maryland’s beautiful state parks.

Foundations of Philosophy (The Examined Life) (PL201)

This is a course in the history of philosophy beginning with Socrates and ending with the philosophy of the early Renaissance.  It takes as its point of departure Socrates.  In Plato’s writings we meet a Socrates who sees philosophy not as an area of academic study but as a way of life.  At his trial he also makes the radical claim that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.  Both Socratic claims demand our serious attention and are at the very core of a liberal education.

Faculty Biography

Jim Snow is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy.  As an undergraduate he studied ancient Greek and philosophy. He went on to earn a M.A. degree in philosophy and religious studies, and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Temple University. He studied culinary arts at L’Acadamie de Cuisine where he also taught as a chef’s assistant.  His published work is in the area of genocide; he frequently gives talks on philosophy and genocide in the U.S. and Europe.

Professor Snow is an avid motorcyclist.  He and his wife Dale (also a member of the philosophy department) have toured much of the continental U.S. on an old Harley-Davidson and eight European countries on their Ducati.  They make their home in Guilford, a five-minute walk from campus, where they foster and rehabilitate abandoned and damaged pit bulls for a rescue organization.

Mentor Biography

Nicole is a graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, class of 2008, from Monmouth County, NJ. She loves living in Baltimore City’s Canton neighborhood, and has worked for the university since 2009. She’s now in graduate school at Loyola, completing her thesis, expected to graduate in May. She really enjoyed her first Messina experience last fall because of the wonderfully enthusiastic group of first-year students! The opportunity of participating with Messina is a wonderful way to connect to Loyola outside of her full-time position.
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