CLCIV 120 - First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities)
Section: 003 Classics and Augustine's Chistianity
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
FYSem, WorldLit
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Augustine’s autobiographical masterpiece, the Confessions, is a work of profound introspection, bringing alive the anguish and triumph of a brilliant young professor of rhetoric who embarks upon a successful career but one fateful day is brought to his knees on hearing a child’s voice in the neighbor’s garden. Yet this story coincides with one of greatest transformations of the ancient world, from polytheism and secular philosophy, to Christianity and the Fall of the Roman Empire.

In this class, we will study the Confessions and the life of Augustine, in terms of Augustine’s identity as a reader, reading some of the authors he read (including Virgil and Plato) thinking about his engagement with the intellectual traditions of the Greco-Roman world. At the same time, we will consider Augustine’s place in the formation of a radically new Christian thought world, and take up such controversial topics as religious coercion, the meaning of sexuality, and the idea of original sin. Books include the Confessions, parts of the City of God, Augustine’s Letters, Virgil’s Aeneid, Apuleius’ Golden Ass, Peter Brown’s biography of Augustine, and some ancient philosophy.

Students will create a diary of themselves as a reader in the midst of the turmoil of the 21st century, documenting how their intellectual and inner life unfolds in the midst of a rapidly changing world. They will compare their own challenges with those of Augustine who likewise tried to make sense of his contemporary world by engaging with the past.

Course Requirements:

Grading will be based on a reading diary, class participation, a midterm exam and a final paper.

Intended Audience:


Class Format:

Two meetings per week

CLCIV 120 - First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities)
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0872208168
Confessions, Author: Augustine ; translated by F.J. Sheed ; introduction by Peter Brown., Publisher: Hackett 2nd ed. 2006
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0664226191
A reader's companion to Augustine's Confessions, Author: edited by Kim Paffenroth and Robert P. Kennedy, Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press 1. ed. 2003
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0520227573
Augustine of Hippo : a biography, Author: Peter Brown., Publisher: University of California Press A new ed., 2000
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