Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

The Christian Story and the Story of Christians (TH 201)

Marilynn Robinson observes, “The Bible is the model for and subject of more art and thought than those of us who live within its influence, consciously or unconsciously, will ever know.”  This course explores the basic elements of the Christian story and its broad legacy throughout history.  In addition to the major highlights of the biblical narrative, the course will cover such theological classics as Augustine’s Confessions as well as the lives of such inspirational figures as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dorothy Day.  In the process, we will review how theology as a discipline approaches such timeless questions as the nature of good and evil and the meaning of suffering.

Faculty Biography

John Kiess is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology. As a George Mitchell Scholar he earned his MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast and MPhil in Theology from Cambridge University.  He received his Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke University in 2011, writing his dissertation on the ethics of war through the lens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  His main area of focus is ethics, but his research interests also include politics, peacebuilding, and philosophy.  He is the author of Hannah Arendt and Theology as well as numerous articles.


The Practice of Philosophy (PL 201)

What does it mean to lead a philosophical life? Is philosophy primarily an exercise of reason to understand and conceptualize the world, an ethos of grounding one’s life upon profound wisdom, a tool for self-reflection, an avenue toward transcendent experience, or something else altogether? This course brings together a motley cast of characters from the history of Western and Eastern philosophy to investigate the question of what it means to live philosophically. Our readings will range from Ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle to the Bhagavad Gita; early teachings of the Buddha; letters of the Roman Stoic, Seneca; the autobiography of the reformed Medieval ‘bad boy,’ St. Augustine of Hippo; and the mystical writings of St. Catherine of Siena.

Faculty Biography

Jessica Locke is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Her main areas of philosophical interest are moral psychology and Buddhist philosophy. A native of northern California, she also enjoys live music, studying Tibetan language, and memes.

Mentor Biography

Zachary Hitchens has a Master of Science in college counseling from Shippensburg University, a Post-Masters Certificate in the Advanced Study of Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Maryland, and a National Certified Counselor. He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College. Before coming to Loyola in 2012, he worked as a mental health counselor at Lewis University providing individual and group counseling services to undergraduate students and developed, implemented, and coordinated drug and alcohol education, prevention, and outreach. He was also co-leader of the University's Campus Harm Reduction Committee that evaluated and unified University policies and programs in regard to drug and alcohol abuse. Zack has also provided drug and alcohol and other mental health services to undergraduates at York College and Shippensburg University from 2009-2011.

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