Course Number: CHS 501
Course Title: Historical Knowledge and the Human Good
John P. Bequette, PhD
1. COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course explores the relationship between historical knowledge and human flourishing, both temporally and eternally. What key historical events, figures, controversies and concepts should an adult retain after having left college? How ought a mature, Christian adult view history? What role does historical knowledge play in establishing a flourishing social life? Is there a connection between a proper historical consciousness and eternal salvation?
2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of key events, movements, figures and concepts that have shaped world history and have impacted the life of the Church.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of how historical knowledge contributes to the Common Good.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of salvation history and how this understanding relates to their personal salvation.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the usefulness historical knowledge in Catholic apologetics.
3. COURSE SCHEDULE
Please note: The reading assignments were designed for you to read the chapter reading first and
then my accompanying PowerPoint lectures. In addition, all quizzes and the final exam are open book.
Week 1 (8/28-9/3): The Christian View of History, I
- Dawson, “The Christian View of History” (245-262) and “History and the Christian Revelation” (263-273).
- PPT lecture: What is History?
- Discussion Board posts for Week 1.
- Quiz for Week 1.
Week 2 (9/4-9/10): The Christian View of History, II
- Read Dawson, “Christianity and Contradiction in History” (275-282) and “The Kingdom of God and History” (283-299).
- No PPT lecture or video this week.
- Discussion Board Posts for Week 2.
- Quiz for Week 2.
Week 3 (9/11-9/17): The Fall of Rome
- Read Dawson, “St. Augustine and the City of God” (311-339) and “Edward Gibbon and the Fall of Rome” (341-367).
- Discussion Board posts for Week 3.
- Quiz for Week 3.
Week 4 (9/18-9/24): Augustine of Hippo’s Theology of History
- Augustine, City of God, Book II (48-88).
- Benedict XVI, General Audiences on St. Augustine:
- No video or PPT lecture this week
- Discussion Board questions for Week 4.
- Quiz for Week 4.
Week 5 (9/25-10/1): Bede and the Evangelization of Britain
- Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Preface and Book I (3-62) and Book II, chapters 1-4 (65-77).
- Benedict XVI, General Audience on Bede:
- Discussion Board questions for Week 5.
- Quiz for Week 5.
Week 6 (10/2-10/8): The Crusades
- Jonathan Riley Smith, “Rethinking the Crusades”
- Thomas F. Madden, “Inventing the Crusades”
- Bernard of Clairvaux, “In Praise of the New Knighthood”
- Youtube video: “The Crusades”
- Discussion Board questions for Week 6.
- Quiz for Week 6.
Week 7 (10/9-10/15): The Inquisition
- No PowerPoint lecture or video this week.
- Discussion Board questions for Week 7.
- Quiz for Week 7.
Week 8 (10/16-10/22): The Reformation
- Walter Brandmuller, “Martin Luther’s Reformation from a Catholic Perspective” and “A Profound Spiritual Reawakening: The ‘Miracle of Trent.’”.
- Youtube video: Bishop Robert Barron on the Council of Trent
- Discussion Board questions for Week 8.
- Midterm Exam
Week 9 (10/23-10/29): Wars of Religion
- Graham Darby, “The 30 Years War.”
- Michael DeVine, “Religion in the Thirty Years War.”
- PPT lecture: The Wars of Religion
- Discussion Board questions for Week 9
- Quiz for Week 9.
Week 10 (10/30-11/5): The Galileo Affair
- Thomas Woods, “The Church and Science.”
- Stephen M. Barr, “Galileo in Rome”
- Youtube video: Carl Sagan on the Galileo Affair
- Discussion Board questions for Week 10.
- Quiz for Week 10
Week 11 (11/6-11/12): The French Revolution
- Walter Brandmuller, “New Life from the Ruins.”
- Norman Gash, “Reflections on the Revolution”
- PPT lecture: The Church and the French Revolution
- Discussion Board questions for Week 11.
- Quiz for Week 11.
Week 12 (11/13-11/19): The Shoa
- David Novak, “Arguing Israel and the Holocaust”
- Robert P. George, “On Holocaust Remembrance Day”
- PPT lecture: Christian Responses to Nazism and the Holocaust
- Discussion Board questions for Week 12.
- Quiz for Week 12.
Week 13 (11/20-11/26): The Second Vatican Council
- Walter Brandmuller, “The Council and the Councils.”
- Bruce D. Marshall, “Reckoning with Modernity.”
- PPT lecture: The Second Vatican Council
- Discussion Board questions for Week 13.
- Quiz for Week 13.
Week 14 (11/27-12/3): The Rise of Radical Islam
- Daniel Pipes, “The Western Mind of Radical Islam”
- George Weigel, “No More Appeasement of Radical Islam”
- No PowerPoint lecture or video this week.
- Discussion Board questions Week 14.
- Quiz for Week 14.
Week 15 (12/4-12/8)
4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS
- Discussion Board Posts - You will participate in online discussion boards which focus on the readings and PowerPoint lectures:
- I will post several questions pertaining to the readings and/or lectures no later than Monday of the week. You will answer BOTH questions with a thoughtful, complete response of no less than five sentences for each response. Responses are due Thursday, 11:59pm on the current week. For example, the posts for Week One are due Thursday, August 31, 11:59pm. Each response is worth 3 points. LATE POSTS WILL RECEIVE NO CREDIT.
- In addition to answering a question posted by the instructor (myself), you will also formulate a question about the readings and post it on the discussion board under a separate thread (3 points). The question can pertain to any of the following:
- Something in the reading you do not fully understand and would like help from your classmates in understanding.
- A question that occurs to you as a result of the reading and that calls for further thought and reflection on the part of your classmates.
- Do NOT post questions that ask your classmates merely to summarize part of the readings or go on a ‘fact finding’ mission within the text. I want your questions to stimulate thought and discussion. Questions are due Thursday, 11:59pm on the current week. This is worth 5 points. LATE POSTS WILL RECEIVE NO CREDIT.
- Finally, you will thoughtfully answer a question posted by one of your classmates (3 points). Responses are due Sunday, 11:59pm at the end of the week. For example, your answer to a classmate’s question for Week One is due Sunday, September 3, 11:59pm. This is worth 5 points. LATE POSTS WILL RECEIVE NO CREDIT.
- Your posts will be evaluated according to the rubrics in the syllabus (see below).
- You will take weekly quizzes on the readings and Power Point lectures.
- You will take Midterm Exam, covering the readings and the PowerPoint lectures. This will be an open-book essay exam.
- You will take a Final Exam covering the readings and PowerPoint lectures. This will be an open-book essay exam.
- Undergraduate students – you will write a 7-10 page research paper assessing an historical event, movement, or person. Detailed instructions forthcoming.
- Graduate students - You will write a 10-12 page research paper assessing an historical event, movement, or person. Detailed instructions forthcoming.
Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).
5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES
- Christopher Dawson, Dynamics of World History (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002).
- Walter Brandmuller, Light and Shadows: Church History amid Faith, Fact, and Legend (Ignatius Press, 2009).
- Other readings as assigned.
- Discussion Board Posts 23%
- Quizzes 23%
- Midterm Exam 18%
- Final Exam 18%
- Essay 18%
A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 D 60-69; F 59 and below
GRADING RUBRIC FOR DISCUSSION BOARD (DB) POSTINGS
3 points – Student demonstrates an acceptable understanding of the concepts and ideas in the reading.
2 points – Student demonstrates a deficient understanding of the concepts and ideas in the reading
1 point – Student fails to address the question in an intelligible manner
3 - points – Student’s question is thoughtful, and well-articulated
2 points – Student’s question is obtuse and somewhat difficult to understand
1 point – Student’s question is unintelligible
3 points – Student adequately answers the question of his/her classmate.
2 points – Student less-than-adequately answers the question of his/her classmate.
1 point – Student’s response is unintelligible
GRADING RUBRIC FOR ESSAYS
The grading rubric is constructed according to a 30-point scale. The first two categories are graded according to a 10-point scale, while the last two are graded according to a 5-point scale, for a total of 30 possible points. Your total points are then divided by 30 in order to yield a percentage, which is then applied to the possible points for the assignment. For example, if a given essays is worth 20 points, and you earn 25 points on the grading rubric, you receive 16.6 points for the paper (25/30 = 0.83; 0.83 x 20 = 16.6).
Understanding of concepts and ideas (10 points):
- Paper demonstrates an accurate and thorough comprehension of ideas and concepts at a level appropriate for an undergraduate general education course.
- Paper demonstrates an appropriate and intelligent use of primary and secondary sources.
Prose, sentence structure, clarity of expression, organization and flow (10 points):
- Prose is consistently clear.
- Sentences are consistently well-constructed.
- Word choice demonstrates a well-developed vocabulary.
- Essay is well-organized and flows logically from beginning to end.
Grammar, spelling, punctuation, typography (5 points):
- Paper is free from mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
- Paper is thoroughly proofread for typographical errors.
Following directions (5 points):
- Paper completely follows directions given.
- Paper correctly cites sources within the text.
- Paper includes a bibliography.
7. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY
Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.
In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own. At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.
Students, where applicable:
- Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
- Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
- Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
- Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:
Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously. Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.
8. ATTENDANCE POLICY
Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required to be in class 3 hours a week and prepare for class discussions 4.5 hours a week. Expect to devote at least 7 quality hours a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.
9. INCOMPLETE POLICY
An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.
To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.
Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.
Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.
A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.
10. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR
My name is John Bequette. I earned my doctoral degree in historical theology at Saint Louis University. My specialization is in the medieval theological tradition, with an emphasis on the lives of the saints. I have published articles in various theological journals and have recently published a book Rhetoric in the Monastic Tradition (Peter Lang, 2012).