Course level: Undergraduate
“Perspectives on Western Culture I” explores classic works which gave rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West.” The semester divides into three parts: Greek Literature and thought, the Biblical world, and Late Antique and Medieval Philosophy. We begin with the emergence of philosophy in Athens, giving special attention to the works of Plato and Aristotle. In the second part of the semester, we turn to an examination of the origins of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), looking at the Pentateuch and portions of the New Testament. In the third and final part of the semester, we examine how Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers struggled to reconcile the arguments and ideas of ancient Greek philosophers with the insights of the Bible, focusing on the works of Augustine, Averroes, Maimonides, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas.