Foundations of Philosophy - The Examined Life (PL201)
Socrates, at his trial, turns to his fellow citizens and offers the following admonition: “it is the greatest good for man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology, 38a). Four things are revealed in Socrates’ words that should command our attention. First is the claim itself that an unexamined life is not worth living; it is not a life for human beings. Second is the claim that this is not a good among any number of goods . . . it is the greatest good. Third is the suggestion that this good is not to be pursued in solitude but in discourse, in conversation with others. Last, and perhaps most difficult to appreciate, is the reminder that philosophy is an activity, a way of being in the world. The course begins with Socrates, and Socrates will serve as a model to guide our conversation as we explore the question: What is the good life?
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.
Biblical Testimonies of God and the Good Life: Introduction to Theology (TH 201)
This course will examine how religious communities have conceived of God, themselves, and life through a close reading of biblical texts. We will explore biblical narratives and characters from the perspective of the authors’ worldview and from the perspective of subsequent religious reading communities throughout history unto the modern era. Thus, we will examine how the biblical texts themselves explore theological questions (How do we conceive of God? Humanity? What constitutes the “good life”?) and how later Judeo-Christian readers have used biblical texts as a source for understanding God and constructing a life of faith. This course will examine a variety of different perspectives and approaches to reading the Bible and practicing theology as it applies to human identity and living the good life.
Lesley DiFransico started as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology at Loyola in 2014. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she completed a B.S. in Biology from Ohio State University before transitioning to get her Ph.D. in Biblical Studies (emphasis on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She enjoys studying the literary and theological functions of metaphor in the Bible and teaches courses in Christian theology and Scripture, including Food, Hunger, and the Bible, a course that partners with Loyola’s Peace and Justice Studies Program. Her classes focus on exploring biblical texts and characters and she enjoys bringing theology and religion into conversation with science as per her former life in Biology. In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and seeking out the best cup of coffee.
Sinclair Preston Ceasar III is an Assistant Director of Student Life at Loyola University Maryland for the Eastside Area. He enjoys genuinely connecting with students and working withthem to make kindness go viral. Sinclair has many years of experience in the areas of with Residence Life, New Student Orientation, First Year Programming, Youth Development and Service Learning. Previously, he served as an Assistant Director of Student Life at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD (2014-2015), and as a Residence Director at Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA (2012-2014). Sinclair volunteered in Oregon with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW (2009) and with AmeriCorps & AmeriCorps VISTA (2010-2012). He writes articles about positivity and shares free resources at his website, The SA Pro Next Door and is the author of Two Thousand Hours- Advice for a New Student Affairs Professional. Connect with him on Twitter @Sinclair_Ceasar and LinkedIn.