|Faith, Reason and Medieval Society
Block 5, 2011-12
Palmer 223E, 719.389.6527, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Faith, Reason and Medieval Society" will consider European intellectual and religious life in their broad social and political contexts, from their foundations in the work of the Latin Fathers of Christianity to their transformation after the Black Death of the fourteenth century. Central readings will be among the major monuments of medieval thought as well as lesser-known evidence for ordinary people's religious lives. These primary texts will be supported by a standard survey of medieval ecclesiastical history and one important recent work on medieval cultural poetics. Discussion sessions will assume some rudimentary understanding of the shape of the western past and of Christian thought. Students unfamiliar with the Christian tradition are advised to find copies of the New Testament and to read at least the Gospel of Mark before they undertake the assignments described below; those who have made no prior study of the European Middle Ages may borrow a Western Civilization textbook from the instructor and read its introduction to medieval civilization in order to engage effectively with the common materials..
This year’s version of HY 312 will center on the interactions among theologians, spiritual writers and non-elites in shaping medieval intellectual life and religious belief. Common readings and discussions will emphasize the ways in which the Church, broadly speaking, and its constituent institutions both managed and responded to the laity's sense of the holy. Students will be encouraged, in their independent research, to develop knowledge of the primary materials and critical perspectives on historical figures or religious movements outside of the course's direct attention. Papers will be developed in careful cooperation with the instructor.
The following works or collections, required for the entire class, are available in the College Bookstore. Several of these texts are in print in variety of translations. Students are nonetheless urged to use those selected for class, so that discussion may easily refer to selected passages.
Augustine of Hippo, Selected Writings, ed. Mary T. Clark (New York: Paulist Press, 1988). ISBN-10: 0809125739
Gregory the Great, Life of st. Benedict, trans. Terrence Kardong (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2009). ISBN-10: 0814632629
Book of Sainte Foy, trans. Pamela Sheingorn (Philadelphia: UPenn Press, 1995). ISBN-10: 9780812215120
Guibert of Nogent, A Monk's Confession: The Memoirs of Guibert de Nogent (State College: Penn State Press, 1995). ISBN-10: 0271014822
Peter Abelard, Ethical writings: 'Ethics" and 'Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew and a Christian,' trans. Paul Vincent Spade (New York: Hackett, 1995). ISBN-10: 0872203220
Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Aquinas: Selected Writings, ed. Ralph McEnnerney (New york: Penguin, 1999). ISBN-10: 0140436324
Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, trans. Suzanne Noffke (Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 1988). ISBN-10: 0809122332
R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (New YorkL Penguin, 1990). ISBN-10: 0140137556
The following further readings are available on this course's PROWL site:
Medieval Popular Religion, 1000-1500: A Reader, ed. John R. Shinners, 2nd ed. Toronto: UToronto Press, 2006).
Caroline Walker Bynum, Christian Materiality: An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe (New York: Zone Bools. 2011).
The following films will be subjects of critical discussion:
Philip Groning (dir.), Into Great Silence (2005)
Ingmar Bergman (dir.), Seventh Seal (1957)
Carl Dreyer (dir.), Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Students will be responsible for careful reading and thoughtful consideration, demonstrated in classroom discussion, of all assigned texts. Each will also be required to complete
One third of the final grade will depend on class participation, one third on the research essay, and a final third on the two elements of the final considered together. All students will be expected to finish assigned readings before class meetings on the day for which they are listed. Readings for which no page numbers are listed are to be read in their entirety. No written assignments will be accepted late without prior excuse. Papers will observe Modern Language Association reference form, as set forth in The Chicago Manual of Stytle. All written work will conform to high standards of academic integrity and signed with the College's Honor Pledge.
SCHEDULE OF CLASS MEETINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Discussion titles are indicated below in bold face, written assignments and special scheduling or locations in upper case. The class will meet in Palmer 233 at 9:30 AM, unless otherwise noted, except for the first day of the block, when class will be at 9 AM for an introduction to the material and discussion of the syllabus.
Mon. Intellectual history, cultural history, medieval history
INTRODUCTION 9 AM
Tues. Fisherman, orators and Latin Fathers
Weds. Secular time and providential meaning
Thurs. The monastic context of early medieval thought
CLASS BREAKFAST DISCUSSION 8:30am
Southern 15-91, Gregory (entire primary text, not commentary)
9:30am FILM: Into Great Silence
Fri. The practice of medieval religion
Book of Sainte Foy 39-111, 263-274
Mon. The conscience of the monk
Southern 214-239, Guibert 3-91
Tues. Faith, reason, and human responsibility
Southern 240-272, Abelard 1-56
Weds. Reason, faith, and alterity of belief
Thurs. AM--INDIVIDUAL PAPER CONFERENCES
1pm--God's mind and the human mind with Professor Timothy Fuller
Southern 272-299, Thomas 5-17
Fri. NO CLASS MEETING--RESEARCH DAY
Mon. Toward understanding Thomas
Thomas 243-289, 710-717
Tues. Lay belief and elite teaching
Southern 300-360, medieval popular religion packet (PROWL)
Weds. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS FOR EXCHANGE
9:30am FILM: Seventh Seal
Thurs. PAPER WORKSHOP
1pm FILM: Passion of Joan of Arc
Fri. Women's bodies, women's voices
Catherine 25-27, 64-160, 361-366
Mon. Reading medieval experience
Bynum (PROWL) 13-123
Tues. REVIEW BREAKFAST
15-PAGE PAPERS DUE IN CLASS
Weds. SMALL-GROUP EXAMS
Click here for the ORB, a collection of primary materials on medieval civilization.