HONS105, 106 Western Heritage (5,5)
A study of significant issues that emerged in Western civilization, approached through the reading of major works. The first semester's topics involve the era from the ancient world to the Reformation; the second, the Enlightenment to the modern world. In both semesters, spiritual and religious themes are emphasized and the combined semesters replace one 3-credit religion course. Small-group projects and discussions, field trips and cultural events enrich the lectures. Required for SAGES during the first year.
HONS115 Transcribing the Self: Honors Composition (3)
What is the entity we call self? How is it formed, reformed, transformed? What role does the "other" play in our determination of self? To what extent is self an independent construct, and to what extent is it socially and ideologically determined? Such questions are addressed through written and oral examination of our own lives and the lives of others as presented in significant texts. Recommended during the first year.
HONS215 Scripture (3)
The reading of Biblical passages chosen for qualities such as centrality to Christian belief, power as literature, and variety of expression. Entire books will be addressed thematically, including Genesis, Job, Romans, and Revelation. A portion of the course will involve the detailed interpretation of a selected section. Required.
HONS265 Literature and the Arts (3)
Explores the ways in which visual, musical and literary arts address the human experience. Through close analysis of primary texts, students become conversant in the distinctive and overlapping discourses of the various art forms. Drawing upon this fine arts literacy, they will examine concerns of primary importance to creative minds from the ancient world to the postmodern era. These themes will include several of the following: articulating the sacred, the quest for knowledge, gender relations, ethnicity and identity, social order and/or violence. Prerequisite: HONS115. Required.
HONS345 What is "Other?" The Non-Western World (3)
An introduction to the diversity and commonality of the global human experience and world views as expressed in literature, the arts, religion and other intellectual endeavors with special focus on the non-Western world. Small group activities, field trips, guest presenters, films and special projects enrich the discussion of significant texts. Prerequisites: HONS106, 115. Required.
HONS365 Cosmos (3)
An interdisciplinary, readings-based course which considers the nature of science and its relationship to other approaches to truth. Selected "key ideas" in science will be examined to explore how science informs our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe. Particular attention will be given to the interplay between Christian faith and science. Prerequisite: HONS115. Required.
HONS398 Research Pro-Seminar (1)
Preparation for the Senior Honors Thesis. Expectations for the senior thesis are addressed, including consideration of alternative topics, refining the thesis proposal, the role of literature review, formal public speaking, presentation software and evaluation. The letter grade assigned reflects the presentation of the project at the Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar; a DG is assigned until then. Required for all juniors. Fall
HONS415 Thinking Theologically: Christian Life and Faith (3)
A study of the great themes of theology, such as the trinity, original sin, law, grace, faith, Scripture, priesthood of all believers and free will through the reading and analysis of classic texts by Christian writers. Sustained attention will be given to the philosophical inter-relatedness of these themes and their implications for personal spiritual-ethical formation and social ethics. Prerequisite: HONS115. Required.
HONS497 Senior Honors Project (2–4)
Independent research or creative work to produce the Honors Thesis, typically supervised by a professor within the student's major field. The Thesis is filed in the James White Library to facilitate wider access. Required.
HONS495 Independent Study (in any department) (1–6)
Individual study or research of an approved topic under the guidance of an appropriate professor and resulting in an essay, critical review or other gradable demonstration of accomplishment. Implies 45 hours of work per semester credit. Repeatable to 6 credits. Elective.
HONS225 Materialism & Idealism (3)
Philosophers and prophets often approach wealth with caution or hostility, but modern culture flaunts status symbols and values self-worth by material accumulation. Considering such differences, readings from Plato to contemporary authors will raise questions about the level of wealth we ought to desire, the thoughtful use of that wealth, and reconciling a Christian life of service with professional success today. Elective.
HONS245 Meanings of America (3)
Examines understandings of American society, culture, and physical environment by a variety of observers, including native, foreign and minority, through study of prose, poetry, music, film, and the visual arts. Core readings will include works by Jefferson, Tocqueville, Martineau, Douglass, Bourne, Friedan, and King. Elective.
HONS325 Justice (3)
What is justice? Is it a process, an end result, or both? Using concepts of right and wrong developed by Classical writers, medieval philosophers, and recent Christian theologians, this course considers the relationships between justice and religious understandings of human nature and society. It then analyzes selected policies where concepts of justice can or should play a role and critically examines the practical results of attempts to create greater social justice. Prerequisite: HONS115. Elective. Alternate years (odd years).
HONS380 Topics, Independent Study, and Research (1–3)
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics selected for interest and importance. Typically the course revolves around reading, discussion, and individual projects. Repeatable as topics vary. Elective.