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Course Offerings for Fall 2006


MVGA 0910 Maintenance-Medieval
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 11928)
MVGA 8500 Independent Research
2 Credits (Staff) (Call # 12380)
MVGA 8501 Independent Research
1 Credit (Staff) (Call # 12381)

MVGA 5039 Late Antique Cultures
4 Credits (Bowes/Gyug) (Call # 12129) Wednesdays 4:45-7:15

An overview of late antique material and textual culture, covering the third through the seventh centuries.  Organized chronologically and thematically, the course addresses issues such as the transition from Roman to medieval economies, the transformation of cities, the rise of the institutional church and the development of Christian art and architecture, and the beginnings of monasticism. Readings will reflect the intersection of text and material culture represented by the disciplinary perspectives of the instructors, an archeologist and an historian, and the discussions will stress interdisciplinary solutions to methodological problems and historiographic debates.

ENGA 6209 Themes in Preconquest Literature
3 Credits (Chase) (Call # 12538) Tuesdays 3:30-5:30
This course is a graduate-level introduction to the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England. We will read (in Old English) a variety of texts from the period, including poetry, homilies, saints’ lives, and chronicles. The course will also introduce students to Anglo-Saxon palaeography and the bibliography of the period.

ENGA 6230 Poems of the Pearl Manuscript
3 Credits (Erler) (Call # 12364) Tuesdays 5:30-7:30
This class will read (in Middle English with translation) the four important poems that this unique manuscript contains: Pearl; Cleanness; Patience; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Products of a movement called the Alliterative Revival, they share a strong interest in complex poetic forms and in visual elaboration and decoration. Certain themes recur as well: these poems are filled with dramatic life-altering changes, and all of them meditate on the range of possible responses to change. We will try to set the manuscript and the poems in a social context by examining the manuscript in facsimile (undistinguished, clumsy pictures) and identifying its regional home (the North-West) in order to ask about its audience.

HSGA 6072 Medieval Law and Society
4 Credits (Mueller) (Call # 12424) Thursday 4:45-7:15
This course is designed as an introduction to medieval law and society through selected primary and secondary sources. The “law and society” perspective studies law not as a distinct entity governed by its own rules but rather as an element of a larger society, both influencing and influenced by broad social patterns.

HSGA 7150 Proseminar: Medieval England
4 Credits (Kowaleski) (Call # 12425) Monday 4:45-7:15

This is the first half of a year-long course that focuses on the social, economic, and administrative history of England from the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Special emphasis is placed upon 1) how to identify, interpret, and exploit a wide variety of primary sources (such as wills, cartularies, court rolls, account rolls, chronicles, among others); 2) how to use major historical collections (such as the Rolls Series, VCH, Record Commissioners, Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Ordnance Survey, Selden Society, and others); and 3) gaining an awareness of the regions and landscape of medieval England, as well as the contributions of historical geography. Besides treating thematic issues such as the church and society, law and the legal system, the growth of government and administration, maritime trade and industry in town and country, the weekly discussions will also consider economy among the peasantry, townspeople, and the landowning elite.  Some knowledge of Latin is recommended.


PHGA 5003 Natural Law Ethics
4 Credits (Koterski) (Call # 11803) Wednesdays 11:00-1:00
A study of the natural law tradition in ethics: its origins in classical philosophy, its integration with Christian thought in the Middle Ages, and its application to selected contemporary problems. A study of the principles of natural law ethics and its applications to selected current moral problems. The course includes a treatment of the historical origins of the theory of natural law, with special emphasis on the relevant texts of Thomas Aquinas from the Summa Theologiae. Among the topics treated will be the relation of morality to positive law and to divine law, the nature and limits of authority, the common good, the nature of the human person, virtue and vice, and such principles as subsidiarity double effect, and finality. 

PHGA 7048 Aquinas and Bonaventure
3/4 Credits (Cullen) (Call # 11930) Mondays 11:00-1:00
This course will investigate the distinctive elements of Augustinian scholasticism as it developed in the thought of Bonaventure.  The distinctive theses of Augustinian scholasticism will emerge by comparing and contrasting Bonaventure and Aquinas on a number of different issues.  In particular, the class will examine how Bonaventure appropriated Aristotle’s hylomorphism while remaining firmly committed to certain central Augustinian theses about nature, man, and the universe, including the impossibility of an eternal world.  In 1273, Bonaventure traveled to Paris to deliver a series of conferences on the six days of creation. As the intellectual capital of Christendom was seized with “Aristotle-mania,” Bonaventure seems to issue a defiant “stop” to the Aristotelian juggernaut, at least, to its more extreme proponents—the Averroists.  In his Conferences on the Six Days of Creation, Bonaventure warns against the Averroizing Aristotelianism of his day as a secularizing force that would turn people away from an understanding of human life as a journey of the soul to God.  Special attention will thus be given to Bonaventure and Aquinas’s common battle against the Averroists in the 1270s.

PHGA 7069 Medieval Logic
3 Credits (Klima) (Call # 11931) Tuesdays 2:00-4:00
This seminar is going to approach medieval logic and philosophy not as a piece of history, but as genuine philosophy, to be taken seriously by a contemporary philosopher. The course is going to provide an extended argument to show that if medieval metaphysical notions are reconstructed against their proper theoretical background (supplied by the sophisticated logical theories of the medievals, as opposed to modern analytic theories or vague historical intuitions), then they can provide us with a comprehensive, unified conceptual framework for discussing our genuine philosophical concerns, which is unmatched in our fragmented “post-modern” culture. Although this course is primarily offered for philosophers, philosophically-minded medievalists in other disciplines may profit from it as well, especially if they are interested in tackling the logical subtleties of medieval philosophical and theological discussions. No previous training in modern (or traditional) logic will be assumed.

PHGA 7072 Duns Scotus & Medieval Philosophy
3 Credits (Pini) (Call # 12764) Friday 3:00-5:00

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the thought of John Duns Scotus (1266-1308). The main focus will be on metaphysics and philosophical theology, but some aspects of Scotus’s theory of cognition and ethics will also be considered. The issues addressed will include the nature and structure of being, essence and individuation, the nature of possibility and its relationship to God’s power, intuitive and abstractive cognition, divine foreknowledge, the nature and extent of human and divine freedom, the motivations of human actions.

The objective of this seminar is to introduce students to Scotus’s thought through selections of Scotus’s own writings. We will spend time discussing the philosophical interest of his positions and the validity of his arguments, as well as Scotus’s philosophical and historical context. Some coverage of other late medieval thinkers (including Henry of Ghent and William Ockham) will be provided, and the most important debates in contemporary scholarship will be taken into account.

RSGA 5300 History of Christianity I

3/4 Credits (Demacopoulos) (Call # 12130) Tuesday 3:15-5:15

Development of central concepts of Christianity from the Apostolic Fathers to the Reformation.  

FRGA 5090 French for Reading
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 13001) Tuesdays 4:15-6:45
GEGA 5001 German for Reading
0 Credits (Ray) (Call # 13002) Mondays, Thursdays 11:30-12:45

Last modified: April 11, 2006
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