Great Books for Adults
does it cover?
This is a one-year course and
is not a duplicate of Schola's regular four-year
Great Books course for teenagers. It will survey
representative material of that four-year curriculum
in one year, allotting one quarter (about 7-8 weeks)
to each of the four regular Great Books courses:
Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Early Modern (see the
list below). In order to do this, we will read and
discuss a representative sampling of several works
from each of the regular courses (see the complete Great
Books reading lists).
How much work will it require?
The participants are not
required to read the works in their entirety
(although they certainly should at some point in
their lives!) - indeed, it would be very difficult
given the number of books we'll be covering.
Instead, there will be short, representative, and
important reading selections posted for each book -
this will significantly reduce the reading load for
busy parents and other adults. To make things
financially easier, many of the books need not be
purchased (though one wants to own what one reads!):
the selections will be available online via links
posted on the syllabus page. The pace will not be
rushed, though we will cover a lot of material in
the year, and the reading load will not be heavy.
The course aims to be enjoyable and profitable, not
Summary: 1) you'll do some
reading, but not a burdensome amount; 2) you'll come
to class, relax, and listen with your coffee cup in
hand while I lecture but you are free to ask
questions at any time; 3) you'll write a very short
informal personal response each week just to help me
know where you are in your thoughts. That's all. No
tests or papers. :)
will it work?
Given the above, the class will
be primarily survey lectures on the time period and
on the authors and readings, but questions are
welcomed and encouraged at any point. There will be
only one kind of assignment besides reading: the
participants will be asked to write and post on a
class forum board a short, informal, ungraded
response paragraph each week to help focus the
participants' thoughts and to give the teacher some
feedback about what the participants are thinking
about and gaining from the classes.
We will discuss, whenever it is
useful, not only the issues and themes raised in the
books, but also how these books might be taught,
what resources are available for further background
and commentary, and other issues that may be useful
to those teaching these books, but of course the
chief aim of the course is to give to the
participants a familiarity with these Great Books.
First term - Greek:
Selections from Homer's Iliad, Herodotus's History,
Aristotle's Ethics and