12 September 2019

Beauty: Theology, Ethics, or Aesthetics?

Is beauty simply “in the eye of the beholder” or is it something more? Is it a way to God, a moral precept, or the specific locus for a unique kind of pleasure? This course examines a variety of subjective and objective views of beauty in the history of Western philosophy and theology from antiquity to the present (e.g. in the thought of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Weil, Barth, and Balthasar). It will also consider the implications of these views of beauty for the production of the visual arts, music, and literary culture in Western religion and society.

ICS 220105 F19
Dr. Rebekah Smick
Thursdays, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Classroom 2, Knox College

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Aristotle, Aquinas and the Scholastic Approach to the History of Philosophy

This seminar examines the scholastic approach to the history of philosophy exemplified by Etienne Gilson against the background of its foundation in the thought of Aristotle as it was appropriated by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. It examines the role that philosophy or theology's history plays in the conceptual constructions of scholastic thinkers, and what they think is truly first and deepest in the history they so study.

ICS 220401 F19
Dr. Bob Sweetman
Thursdays, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: Classroom 2, Knox College
(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

11 September 2019

The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism and Beyond

Did God take a risk in creating the world?  How are divine and human freedom related?  Can we confess God’s sovereignty in the face of evil?  This course will explore the different ways in which the God of history is viewed by advocates and critics of “Open Theism”.  Our examination will stimulate our own reflections on how we might best understand and, indeed, image God’s love, knowledge and power.

ICS 120803 / 220803 F19
Dr. Nik Ansell
Wednesdays, 1:45pm - 4:45pm
Location: ICS Learning Studio, Knox College

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Religion, Life and Society: Reformational Philosophy

An exploration of central issues in philosophy, as addressed by Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and the “Amsterdam School” of neoCalvinian thought. The course tests the relevance of this tradition for recent developments in Western philosophy. Special attention is given to critiques of foundationalism, metaphysics, and modernity within reformational philosophy and in other schools of thought.

ICS 1107AC/2107AC F19
ICT3702HF L0101 / ICT6702HF L0101
Dr. Bob Sweetman
Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location: ICS Learning Studio, Knox College

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

10 September 2019

Twentieth-Century Postmodern Theories of (Inter)Subjectivity

This seminar will examine the philosophical anthropologies of four 20th Century post-modern Continental philosophers: Emmanuel Levinas, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Jacques Derrida. In addition to focusing on how each thinker develops a view of the human self in reaction to the modernist over-reliance on the thinking self, attention will be paid to considering each of the thinkers contributions to an anthropology in which “be(com)ing a “lover” is the epitome and mark of authentic humanity. Throughout this course we will look to the social and political implications of our anthropological theories and the conception of (inter)subjectivity they espouse.

ICS 220903 F19
Dr. Jim Olthuis
Tuesdays, 1:45pm - 4:45pm
Location: ICS Learning Studio, Knox College

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

9 September 2019

Biblical Foundations

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing story of and for God and creation, paying special attention to the way in which God's story is intertwined with that of humanity and the world. In asking whether and in what way the Bible is also our story, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.

ICS 1108AC/2108AC F19
ICB2010HF L0101
Instructor: Dr. Nik Ansell
Mondays, 1:45pm - 4:45pm
Location: ICS Learning Studio, Knox College

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Vocational Wayfinding (Distance)

“What am I to do with my life?” “Who am I?” There appears to be an inextricable connection between the work that we do and our sense of who we are. As the poet David Whyte has suggested, work is for all of us a pilgrimage of identity. It is not, however, a pilgrimage for which any of us are provided with a GPS device, allowing us to navigate in straight lines with comfortable certainty towards clear career objectives that cohere in obvious ways with an immutable sense of our identity. Instead, this pilgrimage is more like the experience of Polynesian sailors, who traversed the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean with the help of the stars, memory, and close attention to the patterns of the waves on the surface of the ocean as these reflected features of the ocean (including far-off islands). Polynesian wayfinding was a way of navigating that required alert improvisation and frequent reorientation from within a perpetually shifting context. Our vocational pilgrimages require of us to find our way in a similar manner.

In this course we will explore particular practices, frameworks, and tools, by means of which we can engage in vocational wayfinding. Prompted by our readings we will consider some of the relationships between work and identity: How does my work prompt my discovery of my sense of self? How do I try out possible selves in relation to whatever in the world is calling me toward particular kinds of work? What am I to do with my life? We will give close attention to those passages in our lives (in particular young adulthood and the middle passage of life) when both our work contexts and our experience of our identity are most obviously in flux. In addition, we will consider how to contribute skillful leadership and insightful mentoring to others as they engage in their own vocational wayfinding, particularly in the contexts of the workplace and educational institutions.

ICSDH 132701/232701 F19
Dr. Michael Wagenman
Distance (Online)
(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

The Observant Participant (Hybrid)

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (Simone Weil)

“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.”
(Simone Weil)

How do I get at the meaning of things? How do I make sense of how people experience the world? How do I make sense of my own experience of the world? Is it possible to do rigorous research into human experience without de-humanizing human experience? What can I learn from the scholarly study of human experience that will inform the ways in which I give attention to human experience in my own professional practices? In this course we will consider these kinds of questions. Together we will explore phenomenologically-informed human science research practices that have been shaped by these kinds of concerns. We will experiment with our own small-scale research projects, which we will bring into juxtaposition with the exploration of meaning in extracts from texts in the phenomenological philosophical tradition. Doing this course together, we will become more observant participants and strengthen our capacity as reflective practitioners. While the focus of this course is on applying research craft to professional practice, the course is also a solid introduction to graduate level qualitative research and key perspectives from phenomenological philosophy.

ICSDH 132501/232501 F19
Dr. Gideon Strauss
Hybrid (Online/In-Person)
Dates TBA

(MWS, MA)

Syllabus

Finding Joy in Learning (Hybrid)

Finding Joy in Learning provides students with a motivating vision of Christian educational innovation and leadership by means of immersive learning experiences, presentations of benchmark projects, interviews with lead practitioners, and readings of key texts. Students are coached through their plan for working through the program as a whole. The course starts students on the path toward their project thesis/portfolio by helping them identify and articulate their research interest.

ICSDH 2100AC F19
Dr. Gideon Strauss
Hybrid (Online/In-Person)
Dates TBA

(MWS, MA)