SOCS 658
Nature and Spirituality

Sara Ritchey

PLEASE NOTE: This is a TENTATIVE syllabus
Weekly two-page response papers
Final paper, approximately 10 pages in length
Final presentation, 15 minutes
Active participation in discussion
Grade Breakdown
Weekly Responses   40%
Final   40%
Presentation   10%
Participation   10%
Course Schedule
January 25 Introduction: Nature's Place in History and Spirituality
Reader Selections: LeGoff, Pollan, White, Buell
February 1 Nature in Antiquity
Artistotle, Physics
Augustine, On Order
February 8 Reading the Book of Nature
Reader: Boethius
Isidore of Seville, Etymologies
February 15 The Goddess Natura
Reader: Newman
Bernard Silvestris, Cosmographia
Alan of Lille, Complaint of Nature
February 22 Nature's Role in Art & Beauty
Reader: Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot Suger
Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just
March 1 Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology
Reader: Franciscan Poetry
Thomas of Celano, First Life of Saint Francis of Assisi
RK French, Before Science: The Invention of the Friar's Natural Philosophy
March 8 Nature and Normative
Reader: Aquinas
Leo Elders, Philosophy of Nature of Saint Thomas Aquinas
Caroline Bynum, Metamorphosis and Identity
March 29 Nature versus Culture
Reader: Chaucer's Parlement of Fowls, Stanbury
April 5 Nature and the Supernatural
Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park, Wonders and the Order of Nature
Francis Bacon, The New Organon
April 12 Approaches to the New World
April 19 Presentations
April 26 Conclusions