ICS Calendar Title: World-Viewing: An Introduction to Worldview Studies

ICS Course Code: 

Instructor: Dr. Gideon Strauss

Term and Year: Fall 2017

Last Updated: September 11, 2017. Note: This is NOT the final version of the syllabus.

1. Course Description

2. Course Learning Goals

3. Course Requirements and Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

4. Required Readings and Viewings

5. Recommended Readings and Viewings

6. Course Schedule

1. Course Description

Ubi amor, ibi oculus.

(Roughly: Where there is love, there is seeing.)

An ancient saying,
passed along by Josef Pieper and Richard Mouw

This World-Viewing: An Introduction to Worldview Studies course serves as a touchstone for the Master of Worldview Studies program as a whole, providing students with an overview of the program, an initial set of frameworks and tools for finding their way through the program, and a selection of readings (about 1,250 pages) that will prime students for reflecting on six inter-related wayfinding questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? What do I believe? What do I love? What opportunities and constraints do I face in my particular context? What am I to do with my life?

The course will take a hybrid format, with six bi-weekly in-person classroom sessions as well as weekly structured interactive online forum discussions in response to reading assignments.

2. Course Learning Goals

  1. To gain an introductory understanding of how people make sense of their lives and find their way in the world;
  2. To become critically familiar with the practice of “world-viewing” (for example, as instantiated in the neocalvinist “Christian worldview” tradition);
  3. To cultivate personal competency in creative and constructive reflection on the big questions of life; and,
  4. To prepare the necessary ground for subsequent work in the Master of Worldview Studies program.  

3. Course Requirements and Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

Note: These requirements are for those students taking the course for credit (as a certificate course or towards a degree).

  1. Written responses (as detailed in the course schedule below) to 1,250 pages of reading
  2. Active participation (as detailed in the course schedule below) in the six bi-weekly in-person classroom sessions and the weekly structured interactive online forum discussions         
  3. Timely completion of a paper of 3,000 to 4,000 words        
  4. Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:
  1. Timely completion of reading responses:         30%
  2. Participation in in-person classroom
    sessions and online forum discussions:         50%
  3. First draft of paper:                 10%
  4. Final draft of paper:                 10%

  1. In this course we will use the following grading scale:

Letter Grade

Numerical Equivalents

Grade Point

Grasp of Subject Matter

Other Qualities Expected of Students

A RANGE:

Excellent: Student shows original thinking, analytic and synthetic ability, critical evaluations, broad knowledge base

A+

90-100

4.0

Profound and Creative

Strong evidence of original thought, of analytic and synthetic ability; sound and penetrating critical evaluations which identify assumptions of those they study as well as their own; mastery of an extensive knowledge base

A

85-89

4.0

Outstanding

A-

80-84

3.7

Excellent

Clear evidence of original thinking, of analytic and synthetic ability; sound critical evaluations; broad knowledge base

B RANGE:

Good: Student shows critical capacity and analytic ability, understanding of relevant issues, familiarity with the literature

B+

77-79

3.3

Very Good

Good critical capacity and analytic ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; good familiarity with the literature

B

73-76

3.0

Good

B-

 

70-72

2.7

 

Satisfactory at a post-baccalaureate level

Adequate critical capacity and analytic ability; some understanding of relevant issues; some familiarity with the literature

F

0-69

0

Failure

Failure to meet the above criteria

  1. If you are taking this course for credit you should plan to commit between 9 and 12 hours a week to completing the coursework. If you find you need substantially more time than suggested here, please contact the instructor. Please also see the note at the end of this syllabus with regard to disability or health considerations that may require accommodations.

4. Required Readings and Viewings

* Indicates books that course participants will need to purchase.

>>Indicates readings that will be read by all students, including continuing education learning experience participants (who are not required to do the other readings).

>>Brooks, David. “The Odyssey Years.” New York Times, October 9, 2007.

>>Chaplin, Jonathan. “Loving Faithful Institutions: Building Blocks of a Just Global Society.” Comment Magazine, Fall 2011.

Delistraty, Cody. “The coming-of-age con.” Aeon, September 8, 2017.  

* Dreyfus, Hubert and Sean Dorrance Kelly. All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age. Free Press, 2011. [Robarts Library: BL80.3 .D74 2011X] 

Ginzberg, Carlo. “Morelli, Freud and Sherlock Homes: Clues and Scientific Method.” History Workshop Journal 9, 1980, pp. 5-36. [available electronically via the UTL catalogue]

Goffman, Erving. “On fieldwork.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 18 (2), 1989, pp. 123–32. [available electronically via the UTL catalogue]

>>Green, Penelope, “Really Thinking About Things,New York Times, November 8, 2007.

>>Griffioen, Sander. “On Worldviews.” Philosophia Reformata 77, 2012, pp. 19–56. [ICS Library Periodical Collection]

>>Harris, Ainsley. “Stanford’s Most Popular Class Isn’t Computer Science–It’s Something Much More Important.” Fast Company, March 26, 2015.

Harris, Joseph. “Coming to Terms” (Chapter 1) in Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts. Utah State University Press, 2006. [Robarts Library: PE1404 .H363 2006X]

Kaemingk, Matthew. “The Headscarf: Islam’s Gift to Western Democracy.” Comment Magazine, June 1, 2017.

>>Madsbjerg, Christian. “Making Sense of the World” (Chapter 1) and “What Are People For” (Chapter 8) in Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm. Hachette Books, 2017, pp. 1-24 and 199-211. [Individual readings available on ICS Library Reserve Shelf]

Malesic, Jonathan. “Don't Search for ‘Purpose.’ You Will Fail. (The big lie behind a Venn diagram meme).” The New Republic, December 19, 2015.

>>Mouw, Richard J. “World-Viewing,” in Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction. Eerdmans, 2011, pp. 90–94. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX9479.K8 M68 2011]

Palmer, Parker J. “The Heart of a Teacher” (Chapter 1) in The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. Jossey-Bass, 2007.

Pascal, Jan, Nicole Johnson, Carol Dore, and Robyn Trainor. “The Lived Experience of Doing Phenomenology: Perspectives from Beginning Health Science Postgraduate Researchers,” Qualitative Social Work 10(2), 2011, pp 172–189. [available electronically via the UTL catalogue]

>>Parks, Sharon Daloz. “Becoming at Home in the Universe: A Developmental Process,” in Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Emerging Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith. Revised 10th Anniversary Edition. Jossey-Bass, 2011, pp. 46-69. [Robarts Library: BL42 .P37 2011X]

>>Parks, Sharon Daloz. “What Endures? The Power of Language, Image, and Metaphor” (Chapter Six) and “Toward a More Adequate Myth: The Art of Leadership” (Chapter Nine) in Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World. Harvard Business School Press, 2005, pp. 121-145, 201-230. [Robarts Library: HD57.7 .P3655 2005X]

Schall, Ellen. “Learning to Love the Swamp: Reshaping Education for Public Service.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 14 (2), 1995, pp. 202-220. [available electronically via the UTL catalogue]

>>* Smith, James K. A. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Brazos Press, 2016. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BV176.3 .S48 2016]

Smith, Terry. “The State of Art History: Contemporary Art.” Art Bulletin XCII (4), December 2010, pp.  366-383.

Strauss, Gideon. “The Art of Passing on Wonts.” Comment Magazine, Spring 2012.

Tokumitsu, Miya. "In the Name of Love." Jacobin, January 2014.

Van Maanen, Max. “By the Light of Anecdote.” Phenomenology + Pedagogy 7, 1989, pp. 232-253. [OISE Periodical Stacks]

Von Busch, Otto. Research Navigation.

>>Wacquant, Loïc. “Habitus as Topic and Tool: Reflections on Becoming a Prizefighter.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 8 (2011), pp. 81–92. [available electronically via the UTL catalogue and in print in the OISE Periodical Stacks]

>>* Wolters, Albert. Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. Eerdmans, 1985. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT695 .W6 2005]

5. Recommended Readings and Viewings

Ansell, Nik. “The Call of Wisdom/The Voice of the Serpent: A Canonical Approach to the Tree of Knowledge.” Christian Scholar's Review 31(1), 2001, pp. 31-58. [ICS Library Periodical Collection]

Bonzo, J. Matthew, and Michael Stevens (eds.). After Worldview. Dordt College Press, 2009. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR100 .A38 2009]

Burnett, Bill, and Dave Evans, Designing Your Life. Knopff, 2016. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: HF5381 .B7785 2016]

Hall, Donald. Life Work. Beacon, 2003. [Robarts Library: PS3515 .A3152 Z475 1993]

Hall, Donald. The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. [Robarts Library: PS3561 .E58 Z74 2005]

Lane, Belden C. The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality. OUP, 1998. (In particular the coda to chapter 3, “Mythic Landscape / Stalking the Snow Leopard / A Reflection on Work.) [Robarts Library: BV4501.2 .L31834 1998X]

Luhrmann, T.M. When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. Vintage, 2012. [Robarts Library: BX8785 .L84 2012X] 

Marshall, Paul A., Sander Griffioen, and Richard J. Mouw (eds.) Stained Glass: Worldviews and Social Science. University Press of America, 1989. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX9423 .S63 S72]

Naugle, David K. Worldview: The History of a Concept. Eerdmans, 2002. (Selections) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR121.3 .N38 2002]

Rothkopf, David. The Great Questions of Tomorrow. Simon & Schuster/TED, 2017. [Robarts Library: HM831 .R676 2017Y]

Seerveld, Calvin. “Footprints in the snow.” Philosophia Reformata 56 (1), 1991, pp. 1-34. [ICS Library Periodical Collection]

Slingerland, Edward. Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science, and the Power of Spontaneity. Crown, 2014. [Robarts Library: B126 .S6453 2014X]

Sweetman, Robert. “Sin Has Its Place, But All Shall Be Well: the Universalism of Hope in Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-c. 1416),” in Gregory MacDonald (ed.), All Shall Be Well: Explorations in Universalism and Christian Theology from Origen to Moltmann. Eugene OR: Cascade Books, 2011, pp. 66-92. [Robarts Library: BX9941.3 .A45 2011X]

Thornton, Sarah. Seven Days in the Art World. Norton, 2009. [Robarts Library: N8600 .T567 2008]

Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. “Some Notes On How To Ask A Good Question About Theory That Will Provoke Conversation And Further Discussion From Your Colleagues,” in Avidly, September 13, 2016.

Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. “We Aren’t Here to Learn What We Already Know,” in Avidly, September 13, 2016.

Turkle, Sherry, “What makes an object evocative?,” in Turkle, Sherry (ed.), Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. MIT Press, 2011 [22 pp.]. [Robarts Library: BF175.5 .T73 E96 2007X]

Wallace, David Foster. “Federer as Religious Experience.” The New York Times, August 20, 2006.

Walsh, Brian J., and J. Richard Middleton. The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View. IVP Academic, 1984. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR100 .W35 1984]

Wuthnow, Robert. After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion. Princeton University Press, 2010. [Available at several UTL locations including Trinity, Knox and Regis colleges: BV4529.2 .W88 2007; also available as an electronic resource through the UTL catalogue]

Williams, Tod and Tsien, Billie, Wunderkammer. Yale Books, 2013. [Robarts Library: NA680 .W55 2013Y]

Further recommendations may be made by the instructor during the course.


6. Course Schedule

All assignments for a particular week must be completed by the deadlines provided in the Google Classroom, although a total of two emergency exceptions to this requirement may be arranged by means of email correspondence with the instructor. In the absence of such arrangements, assignments not completed within the required time frame will receive a zero grade.

Module One: World-Viewing and Vocational Wayfinding

Module 1, Week 1

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read the Welcome Message in the Google Classroom for this course.
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Introduce yourself to the other course participants in the Introductions assignment in the Google Classroom.
  4. Read through the course syllabus carefully and ask any initial questions you have about the syllabus and the course in the Syllabus Review and Course Questions assignment in the Google Classroom.
  5. Read Brooks; Ainsley Harris; Joseph Harris; Madsbjerg; Von Busch.

Module 1, Week 2

In-Person Session: Vocational Wayfinding (September 27, 2017)

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Attend the In-Person Session Session (with preparation as instructed in the In-Person Session assignment in the Google Classroom).
  2. Read Ginzberg; Green; Goffman; Pascal et al.; Van Maanen; Wacquant.

Module 1, Week 3

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read Malesic; James Smith (Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2); Tokumitsu.
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Post a comment of about 250 words to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom by Wednesday (or in the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday!).
  4. Post a response of about 250 words to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom for this course by Wednesday-ish. Subsequently post a further response of about 150 words to the response of any other student participant by Friday-ish. (Further participation in the discussion of the readings in this topic thread is encouraged but not required.)

Module 1, Week 4

In-Person Session: Doing Phenomenology (October 11, 2017)

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Attend the In-Person Session Session (with preparation as instructed in the In-Person Session assignment in the Google Classroom).
  2. Read Griffioen; Mouw; James Smith (Chapters 3, 4, and 7).

Module 1, Week 5

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants )

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read Wolters and Dreyfuss.
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Post a comment of about 250 words to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom by Wednesday (or in the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday!).
  4. Post a response of about 250 words to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom for this course by Wednesday-ish. Subsequently post a further response of about 150 words to the response of any other student participant by Friday-ish. (Further participation in the discussion of the readings in this topic thread is encouraged but not required.)
  5. Submit first draft of paper as instructed in the First Draft of Paper assignment in the Google Classroom by Friday-ish.

Module 1, Week 6

In-Person Session: World-Viewing (October 25, 2017)

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Attend the In-Person Session Session (with preparation as instructed in the In-Person Session assignment in the Google Classroom).
  2. Read Wolters and Dreyfuss.

Module Two: Identity and Agency

Module 2, Week 1

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read Delistraty and Parks (Big Questions).
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Post a comment of about 250 words to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom by Wednesday (or in the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday!).
  4. Post a response of about 250 words to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom for this course by Wednesday-ish. Subsequently post a further response of about 150 words to the response of any other student participant by Friday-ish. (Further participation in the discussion of the readings in this topic thread is encouraged but not required.)

Module 2, Week 2

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read Parks (Leadership).
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Post a comment of about 250 words to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom by Wednesday (or in the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday!).
  4. Post a response of about 250 words to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom for this course by Wednesday-ish. Subsequently post a further response of about 150 words to the response of any other student participant by Friday-ish. (Further participation in the discussion of the readings in this topic thread is encouraged but not required.)

Module 2, Week 3

In-Person Session: Identity, Belonging, Belief (November 15, 2017)

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Attend the In-Person Session Session (with preparation as instructed in the In-Person Session assignment in the Google Classroom).
  2. Read Chaplin; Kaemingk; Palmer; Schall; Terry Smith; Strauss.

Module 2, Week 4

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Read Chaplin; Kaemingk; Palmer; Schall; Terry Smith; Strauss.
  2. Watch the videos posted in the Google Classroom for this week.
  3. Post a comment of about 250 words to the Reading Response assignment in the Google Classroom by Wednesday (or in the early pre-dawn hours of Thursday!).
  4. Post a response of about 250 words to the question raised by the instructor in the Discussion Forum assignment in the Google Classroom for this course by Wednesday-ish. Subsequently post a further response of about 150 words to the response of any other student participant by Friday-ish. (Further participation in the discussion of the readings in this topic thread is encouraged but not required.)

Module 2, Week 5

In-Person Session: Leadership, Institutions, Culture (November 29, 2017)

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

  1. Attend the In-Person Session Session (with preparation as instructed in the In-Person Session assignment in the Google Classroom).

Module 2, Week 6

Assignments (Continuing education learning experience participants)

Assignments (Students taking the course for credit)

Submit final draft of paper as instructed in the Final Draft of Paper assignment in the Google Classroom by Friday-ish.

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability or health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach Gideon Strauss and/or Student Services as soon as possible.


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