Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

Foundations of Philosophy - The Examined Life (PL 201)

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?

Faculty Biography

Dr. Jim Snow holds the title of Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. As an undergraduate he studied ancient Greek and philosophy. He went on to earn a M.A. degree in philosophy and Jewish 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.

Theology Matters: The Bible and the Good Life (TH 201)

With your active participation, this course is designed to familiarize you with Christian Scripture and to empower you to think critically about the historical and contemporary significance of Christian belief and practice. During the semester, we will investigate the interpretation of Christian Scripture and the diversity of Christian thought on questions including creation, the environment, gender, covenant, theodicy, class, prophecy, race, disability, and salvation. This course will proceed by practicing the close reading of texts and productive discussion of historical and contemporary theological perspectives. What is the biblical perspective on the good life, and why does it matter?

Faculty biography

Dr. Zachary G. Smith (he/him) holds the title of Lecturer in the Department of Theology, having received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University in 2019. Dr. Smith's first monograph (in preparation) focuses on Christian communities in antiquity and on 19th-century biblical scholarship on Acts. His current research project examines the ethnoracial implications of Jewish-Christian conflict in antiquity and in the modern world, focusing specifically on the rhetoric of circumcision. When not found translating texts in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Coptic, or Syriac, Dr. Smith enjoys reading science-fiction and fantasy, playing Rocket League to disassociate, doting on his two cats (named after fantasty/sci-fi characters), and the music of Taylor Swift.

Mentor Biography

Ashley Schantz holds a B.A. in Psychology from Bowling Green State University, a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Dayton, and a M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. Ashley joined the Loyola family in February 2017 as the Assistant Director for Class Year & Discernment Programs through the Office of Student Engagement. As such, she helps to create opportunities for students to explore questions of purpose and calling. Prior to Loyola, Ashley worked at the University of Saint Francis in orientation and new student programming.

Virtual Advisor

Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students. 


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Advising and Support

7 ways Loyola helps ease the transition to college

A student shares seven ways her first-year experience was enhanced by the people and programs at Loyola.

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