TH 408: Foundations of Orthodox Christian Ethics

Current Status
Not Enrolled

This is an upper-level course in Ethics, from an Orthodox Christian perspective. I assume that you have basic familiarity with theology and philosophy.

Each week, we will review the elements of ethics, using Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics to offer a baseline understanding of the topics. (An in-depth understanding of Aristotle was assumed by many of the patristic theologians, including Nemesius of Emessa and St John of Damascus.) We will then use contemporary and patristic Orthodox thinkers to highlight how the Church approaches those topics. A highlight of each week’s class will be the fourth hour’s “So what?” discussion, to connect our insights with our own life as Orthodox Christians in North America.

This class is front-loaded. That is, prior to each class, you will have some reading to do and/or a task to perform. It’s important that you do that reading and task before class; the quality of the class will depend on it. I will try to have a set of questions to help you guide your reading.

How will I evaluate your work?
1. A series of short, objective quizzes on the readings will make sure you understand the basic concepts covered.
2. By week 4’s class, you will turn in an 800 word paper discussing a “spiritual exercise” you’ve done some time in the first three weeks.
3. Class discussion will also play a role

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