Liberal Arts Level 7: Classics of Christendom History

Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 11–12 (see the course description for placement details)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Price: $595.00

Course Section
Section 1:
M/W 11:00 a.m. ET with Rhea Bright

History/Literature Discount: Save $195 when students are enrolled in this course and the corresponding literature course! The discount will be applied automatically to your shopping cart when you add both courses.

 

Joint Enrollment: This course is offered as a joint-enrollment class between Scholé Academy and St. Raphael School. Students from both schools are welcome and encouraged to enroll in this dynamic upper-level course.

This course introduces high school students to some of the classical literary texts, or Great Books, of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation. These texts have influenced the development of both Christian culture and the secular West, and while studying them, students explore the ideas, events, and figures that molded societies, arts and ideas from the Middle Ages through the Reformation.

This course focuses on history, but also integrates some study of medieval and Renaissance literature, helping students to see and enjoy the integration of both history and literature. In this upper-school course, students will examine and discuss events, trends, ideas, achievements, and failures found in these historical periods, while also comparing and contrasting such study with their own contemporary period. While students focus on primary classic texts, they also read a survey text for broader context and understanding.

Students are asked to consider and engage with carefully crafted questions as their window into the Great Conversation. Occasionally, the teacher will present historical context through brief lectures, but otherwise classes are seminar-style discussions on the classical texts. Students are assessed for their curiosity, participation, and diligence during discussions, as well as by means of short response papers, essays, and occasional quizzes.

This class is paired with our high school course Liberal Arts Level 7: Classics of Christendom Literature, taught by the same teacher, and scheduled back to back with that course in a “block.” Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.

Placement

This course is suitable for rising 11th–12th graders. Students are expected to have strong reading and writing skills as well as the interest in and capacity for engaging in discussion about literature and history. Students enrolling in this course are expected to:

  • Read at or above a 10th-grade level
  • Compose paragraphs and basic essays with confidence
  • Use a planner and track assignment progress
  • Listen, take notes, and be willing to engage in group discussions (extroversion not required!)
  • Type well enough to transcribe paragraphs without frustration
  • Possess basic computer skills—browsing, accessing assignments, scanning, e-mailing, and managing files without significant help from parents
  • Have some exposure to medieval history and have taken a course in the Great Books of antiquity
  • Click here to view how this course fits into the St. Raphael School Liberal Arts curriculum scope and sequence.

High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of one high school credit in history.

Syllabus: View course syllabus here.

How much time will students spend on homework?
This varies according to each student’s pace. However, students are assigned approximately 1.5–2.5 hours of reading each week. Additional time may be required to supplement their own studying and paper or project development.

How is faith integrated with these courses?
The seminar-style discussion unfolds organically. One could approach the texts with a focus on defensive critiques of classical authors, but by contrast, we seek to read charitably. Classic authors are treated as though they are friends, whereby students glean every available truth while also examining the authors and their works from a robustly Christian perspective.

Required Materials*

Students will need the posted translation and ISBN. They will require printed texts (no digital editions). They will need their own text (not a family library copy) as they will be expected to annotate and mark the text. If you think you have a version that is substantially the same and would like to check, feel free to contact the instructor.

  1. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World (978-0141014494)
  2. Atlas of the European Reformations (978-1451499698)
  3. Early Christian Lives (978-0140435269)
  4. The Rule of St. Benedict in English (978-0814612729)
  5. Augustine, City of God (978-0140448948)
  6. Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (978-0199537235)
  7. John Damascene, Three Treatises on the Divine Images (978-0881412451)
  8. Peter Kreeft, The Summa of the Summa (978-0898703009)
  9. Chronicles of the Crusades (978-0140449983)
  10. Vasari, The Lives of the Artists (978-0199537198)
  11. Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (978-0199236848)
  12. Machiavelli, The Prince (978-0226500447)

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course. When available, we have supplied links to Amazon for convenience, but you may purchase the materials wherever you prefer.

Rhea Bright holds a BA from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an MA in classics from Dalhousie University, also in Halifax. Her classical studies involved Latin and Greek, as well as classical and medieval literature, philosophy, and theology. King’s Foundation Year Program, an early integrated Great Books curriculum, and the Dalhousie classics department formed and nurtured what became a lifelong love of the classics and a deep appreciation of the contribution of the ancient world to whatsoever is good and true and beautiful. Rhea also has a Bachelor of Education from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She taught ancient and medieval humanities at the University of Central Oklahoma for 9 years, and over the course of 10 years at Providence Hall and the Academy of Classical Christian Studies, she taught Latin, logic, Bible, and integrated ancient literature and history. Rhea is married to Father Patrick Bright, an ordained Anglican priest who served for over 24 years at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City and recently retired from full-time ministry. Together they raised 5 sons, now grown. They now live in a 170-year-old house in rural Nova Scotia. E-mail: rbright.scholeacademy@gmail.com

 

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.

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To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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