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High School Great Books

Reading and Discussion

  • Starts Aug 23
  • 375 US dollars
  • Live Online Class

Available spots

Class Description

“O how happy the human race would be, if that love which rules the heavens ruled also your souls!” So sings Lady Philosophy to the woeful Boethius, unjustly imprisoned in the waning days of the Roman Empire and eagerly desiring to know why bad things happen to good people. Where is divine justice to be found? And what’s love got to do with it? High schoolers are invited to join me in a yearlong exploration of these perennial questions, as we first travel back to Golden Age Greece to see what the towering tragic trilogy The Oresteia has to say about the justice of the gods in the face of an inescapably cursed house. From there we’ll partake in Boethius’s consolation as we consider a philosophically Christian answer to the ever thorny question of fate vs. free will. Then we’ll soar with Dante to the very highest heaven to search out the Love that moves the sun and other stars. Finally we’ll take a look at an old myth newly reimagined in light of the Gospel as C. S. Lewis reveals the blind injustice of the human heart—and the boundless grace that stands ever ready to bring salvation and healing if we only had eyes to see. These Great Books are worth a lifetime of study and may be revisited in college, but consider this a first taste in a relaxed, conversational setting, with no worries about papers or exams. This is not a writing class, nor is it a lecture class. We’ll be reading and discussing, seminar style. I’ll spend some time in each class reading excerpts aloud and offering some background and explanation as well as asking questions to help orient their reading, but students should be ready to talk. They’ll be expected to keep up with the weekly reading and prepare questions, comments, and marked passages. This class is especially geared to mature teens who welcome challenging reading and enjoy discussing books and ideas with others. Booklist: The Oresteia, Aeschylus (Hugh Lloyd-Jones translation) The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius (Richard H. Green translation) The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise, Dante (Anthony Esolen translation) Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis Recommended Ages: A mature 15 and up Prerequisites: A desire to read and discuss the great ideas Day and time: Thursday evenings, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Central time) Cost: $375 (includes a nonrefundable $75 deposit paid at time of registration)

Schedule (shown in your timezone)

Refund Policy

Full refunds (minus the non-refundable registration fee) will be given if a student withdraws before the first day of class. Once class begins, students may withdraw before the third class meeting for a 50% refund. There are no refunds after the third class meeting.

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