Literary critic Lionel Trilling once remarked that the study of Humanities is built upon the notion that "there is a certain minimum of our intellectual and spiritual tradition which a man must experience and understand if he is to be called educated." Students in this class (young men and women) will be asked to examine cultures different from their own. They will be asked to deeply appreciate literature and the arts in written assignments and class discussions, to write clearly and analytically, and to fearlessly participate in class discussions. At times, the class may be organized around themes, topics, problems, historical periods, or genres. We will explore early cultures through their writings and move on to study classical Greece and Rome. In the second semester, we will study world religions and learn more about what sets them apart and, more importantly, how they are similar. In the end, this course centers on the idea that historical events, philosophical exploration, mythology, literature, art and religion are located in humankind's need to answer fundamental questions such as where do I come from, how do I lead a good life, and what happens when I die? This class will call on students to think, perhaps in ways they never have before, about these and other issues. To that end, an open mind, strong work ethic and curious intellect will be the keys to success.
Reading list: Odyssey
by Homer; Siddhartha
by Hermann Hesse; When a River Runs Through It
by Norman Mclean; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Instructor: Fred Alvarez
to view Mr. Alvarez's bio