Fall Semester 2012, Eng 2002

Backgrounds to English Literature 

Origins of Western Culture

Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)
Wed / Fri at 3 pm

This course is intended to introduce Greek and Roman philosophy, history, mythology, art, and literature, together with the Bible, a history of Judaism and the beginning of the Christian Church, exploring the ways in which these form the "Background to Western culture".  Lectures will be in English.

Week 1 (Aug 29 / 31) Introductory: The origins of advanced culture. Mesopotamia; Egypt; Israel; Crete-Mycenae-Greece    PDF file of texts for printing
Week 2 (Sept 5 / 7) The Greek gods and myths   PDF file of Greek gods  PDF file of Greek myths for printing
Week 3 (Sept 12 / 14) Homer's Illiad and Odyssey.    PDF file of Homer for printing
Week 4 (Sept 19 / 21) The Old Testament     PDF file of Old Testament for printing
Week 5 (Sept 26 / 28) The Old Testament
Week 6 (Oct 5, no class Oct 3)  Philosophy: before Socrates, Socrates and Plato    PDF file on Philosophy for printing
Week 7 (Oct 10 / 12) Philosophy: Plato & Aristotle  Alexander the Great

Week 8  Mid-term Exams

Week 9 (Oct 24 / 26) History of Rome and the Roman Empire   PDF file on Roman literature for printing
Week 10 (Oct 31 / Nov 2) Drama : Oedipus, Prometheus   PDF file of dramas for printing  From November 2: The Oresteia (YouTube: Agamemnon), Antigone (YouTube)
Week 11 (Nov 7 / no class Nov 9)  Antigone continued (if time allows: Elektra (YouTube))
Week 12 (Nov 14 / 16) Roman writers : Virgil, Ovid  etc
Week 13 (Nov 21 / 23) Roman writers and  The New Testament  PDF file of New Testament for printing
Week 14 (Nov 28 / 30) The New Testament 
Week 15 (Dec 5 / 7)  Early church history   PDF file on the early Church for printing

Evaluation: There will be a midterm and a final exam and students will write a midterm and a final report. These four will be of equal value.


Midterm Report (due in my mailbox in the English Dept office (J,  8fl.) by 3:00 pm on Monday October 22) : What different ideas and questions about the nature of the universe, of human life, of society, and of the divine impress you especially in comparing Greek literature and philosophy with the Jewish Scriptures?

Final Report (due in my mailbox in the English Dept office (J,  8fl.) by 3:00 pm on Monday December 17) : Discuss what view of human life Greek tragedies depict. What is “tragedy”? Contrast that with the view of human existence found in Christianity. Can there be “Christian tragedy”?