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GCON 113: The Tradition Beginning: The Greeks and the Hebrews

Students contrast the world views of the ancient Greeks and Hebrews: Greek polytheism and the hero with the Hebrew notion of one God and the believer; Greek notions of civic community and earthly life with the Hebrew ideal of a religious covenant and historical destiny; Greek thoughts about beauty, war, peace, justice, politics, metaphysics, art, architecture, and drama with the prophetic stance toward the past and the future. Students read and discuss works by Homer, Sappho, Thucydides, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, the writers of the Hebrew scripture, and the artistry of the Parthenon. Offered annually in the fall semester. Counts toward ancient studies major.

Great Conversation

An integrated sequence of five courses taken over two years, the Great Conversation introduces students to the major epochs of Western tradition through direct encounters with significant works. Beginning with the ancient Greeks and Hebrews, the program traces the development of literary and artistic expression, philosophy, religious belief, and historical reflection through the centuries, extending into the modern world. Students respond to great works, challenging the ideas expressed in them and challenging their own ideas as well, thus joining the conversation of men and women through the ages about the perennial issues of human life. The Great Conversation is open to students of all interests. This program appeals to those who like to read, discuss, and write about ideas; those who believe that learning about the past is profoundly relevant to understanding the present; those who want to examine the Western tradition in a unified way; and those who believe that an education ought to cultivate discriminating minds, inquisitive spirits, and moral sensitivity. The faculty members who teach a Great Conversation cohort remain with the students through the courses in the standard sequence (Great Conversation 113-218), as fellow participants in the conversation. Students in the Great Conversation live in the same residence hall their first year and enjoy eating meals together, attending films and theater, and going on field trips throughout the program. Intended Learning Outcomes for the Program Admission to the Program Students are invited to apply to the Great Conversation program after they are admitted to the college. Selection is based on an essay whose topic is announced in the application form. Each year the faculty of the Great Conversation choose 120 first-year students to participate in the program, dividing them into two cohorts, each with 60 students. Course Equivalents for General Education Requirements By successfully completing courses GCON 113 - GCON 218 of the Great Conversation, a student fulfills the following general education requirements: Biblical and Theological Studies-Bible [BTS-B] (one course) First-Year Writing [FYW] (one course) Historical Studies in Western Culture [HWC] (two courses) Artistic Studies [ALS-A] (one course) Literary Studies [ALS-L] (one course) Courses with Writing [WRI] (three courses) Oral Communication [ORC] (one course)  

Ancient Studies

...CLASS 244 The Golden Age of Rome GCON 113 The Tradition Beginning: The Greeks and...