Senior Course - 15 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course - Prerequisite: Introductory Great Books
Discover the world beyond political headlines and democratic institutions—the world that forged the path for the systems of government that dominate our international arena today. This course explores the primary thinkers in political philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle to Alexis De Tocqueville and John Locke. By digging into classic texts, we’ll consider the most fundamental questions about the very ideas that underpin the political sphere: What is justice? Is democracy the best form of government? What is just war? and What makes an ideal regime? Using socratic dialogue to engage with some of the greatest minds this world has ever seen, students will hone their critical thought, develop an arsenal of ideas for political critique, and come to understand politics as they have never understood it before.
13 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course – No Prerequisite – This course is at the heart of WISDOM’s Socratic Dialogue Program and is a prerequisite to many senior level courses.
(Previously titled "Introductory Great Books"; any course which requires Foundational Great Books as a prerequisite is also fulfilled by students having taken Introductory Great Books.)
What makes a classic? Why read ancient books?
Our current culture has done a marvelous job to simplify life. Countless inventions are doing our work for us at the push of a button, freeing our time to focus on more important things. However, do we find that society at large uses this extra time for meaningful growth? Are popular pursuits typically edifying and challenging? Ironically, although we have ready access to incredible information, our culture is beginning to forget where it has come from.
To remember who we are and how we have been shaped as part of western culture, we need to experience the words of those who come before us and experience the subjects that mattered to them. In doing so, we discover that their journeys and ours look surprisingly similar. This course aims to introduce students to some of the wealth of the greatest original thinkers in literature, theology, and philosophy as they study man and his relationship to society. Students will witness how these great works can teach them, even now, of who they are and where they have come from. It will familiarize students with ancient prose and poetry, the Shakespearean drama, and medieval and contemporary works. This course aims not only to expose the student to great and beautiful texts, but to acquaint them with the methodological tools needed to delve into the thought of the author on his own terms and to explore his claims about reality.
(This course requires good reading comprehension of complex works of literature and an ability to read up to 150 pages in a week, although the average assignment is 75 pgs.)
15 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course – Prerequisite: Introductory Great Books
This is a sequel to the Introductory Great Books course. The ultimate aim of this course is for the students to develop a deeper and richer appreciation of our entire Christian/Western culture, as well as our place within that culture - in short to cultivate Classical-Christian literacy. Students will delve into Platonic dialogues asking questions such as: Do we know what death is? What is the duty of an artist? What does it mean to be pious? They will enjoy the beauty of more deeply understanding salvation through Athanasius, find parallels to their own life through studying the allegory of Christian's journey in Pilgrim's Progress, and immerse theselves in the beautiful, but agonizing, Russian world of the Brothers Karamozov. These works will make a lasting impact.
14 yrs and up - $175.00 – 14 week course – Prerequisite: Foundational Great Books
This course explores the writings of C.S. Lewis, one of the most influential Christian writers of the twentieth century. From his fantasies to his moral treatises, Lewis imparts the concept that one has great responsibility to live well, and while shaping one’s own world, one can shape global ethics. The readings include apologetics, philosophical accounts of doctrine, and allegorical interpretations of Christian theology. Students will enjoy discussing the “big questions”, and learn how to apply them to their own lives.
14 yrs and up - $175.00 – 14 week course – Prerequisite: One Intermediate level course
This course examines the works of G.K. Chesterton with a special emphasis on his response to modern philosophy. Chesterton was a man ahead of his time, truly prophetic about our own times. Students consider his views both through his fiction and non-fiction writings.
Senior Course - 14 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course– Prerequisite: One Intermediate level course
In the Rhetoric Aristotle states that, “It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.” There is no doubt that Rhetoric has been used in the World’s greatest speeches in order to persuade man to fight and believe in a cause. This class will explore many of the world’s greatest speeches and judge them through the light of Aristotle’s Rhetoric and through their own merits. What makes a speech great, even once the time for action has passed? How does one know when Rhetoric is being used for a good cause?
The Speeches studied in the course reach from Ancient Greece, to Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, and the 40th Anniversary of D-Day. It will cover speeches from the World Wars, the Abolition of the Slave trade, and include a Nobel Peace Prize Speech.
13 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course– No Prerequisite
You may know the stories, yes, but do you know the action-packed progression of Biblical events? Have you any idea who the Philistines really were, or why the Israelites were so afraid of the Assyrians? Beginning with the events in the Garden of Eden students will witness the growth of the Hebrew people as a people cultivated and led by God, with its own heroes and heroines, carving out a place in a land sought after - and fought over - by the entire Ancient world. To better understand the backdrop of Biblical events students will gain an appreciation of the ever changing civilizations of the Fertile Crescent, Egypt, and the Mediterranean.
14 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course – Prerequisite: One Intermediate Level Course
From the first sparks of Ancient Greece’s splendor to the wonders of the Renaissance, Western culture is a perfect banquet of ideas to engage the mind. Dreams and empires rise and tumble in the centuries’ story of our civilization’s development before the modern era. Students engage with some of the greatest champions and villains the world has known by studying the history of the West, and will increase their understanding of their heritage.
13 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course– No Prerequisite
The primary purpose of this course is to give the students a realistic, factual outline of the history of the Second World War, with a particular focus on the series of grand political, moral and strategic decisions made by the major actors. Of particular interest will be series of assumptions and miscalculations leading up to the war, the loss of nerve demonstrated at critical moments by the aggressor nations (Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Moscow, Leyte Gulf, etc.), the occasionally quixotic risks taken by the initially defensive allies (Greece, the North Atlantic, Coral Sea, Arnhem, etc.), and the colliding intentions of the different allies for the post-war world. Students will be encouraged to construct a series of time-lines of the years 1939-45 for each continental theatre.
14 yrs and up, $175.00, 14 week course– No Prerequisite
Crowning the world's north shone a vast land, where adventures were not the stuff of stories, but true. This was the land where bold voyageurs battled the elements, former pirates gave up their ways to seek the fabled Northwest Passage, and ancient peoples' legends twined through time to its beginning. This was the land where Black Robes shed their blood to bring faith, where a girl of fourteen commanded a fort garrison, and a curtain of snow allowed a militia of thirty to overcome an army of hundreds. This was the land of romance, daring, secrets, and the quest to triumph over the odds. This was Canada.