Reason & Revelation: Paganism and Christianity (Athens, Paros, Delphi, Peloponnese)
Application Deadline: April 1
This course introduces students to the foundations of Western philosophy, from antiquity to the renaissance, as they develop within the Platonic tradition by examining the interaction between Pagan and Christian Platonisms, and it explores key themes, arguments, and ideas related to notions such as God, freedom, and the soul.
Students will reflect upon paradigmatic texts from major thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Plotinus, Proclus, and Ficino, and they will engage with questions that are of continuing concern and interest to the modern mind, such as ‘What does it mean for one to be free and to determine oneself?’, ‘What does it mean for the soul to be the source of the self?’, and ‘What bearing does the existence of God have on epistemology?’. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to consider the way in which the Hellenic tradition has been received and transformed in the hands of various thinkers, and how this tradition informs contemporary philosophical discussions.
Entitled ‘Reason and Revelation: Paganism and Christianity’, this course also probes the relationship between religious revelation and philosophy. This relationship will be approached from two angles: on the one hand, students will assess the way in which Christians used the thought of ancient philosophical schools to articulate their religious vision; on the other hand, they will evaluate the importance of revelation and religious practice to the Pagan tradition itself. This allows for an investigation of definitive philosophical issues, such as life after death and retributive theories of posthumous justice.
This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 18.
60 contact hours
The course starts and ends in Athens. Transportation between Athens and the rest of the course’s destinations, as well as during day excursions is included in the course fee.
Enrolled students will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about residing in Athens. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: http://www.athensguide.com/ and http://www.greektravel.com/.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This course involves extensive travel. Be wary of overpacking. Pack only what you can carry comfortably, because you will be required to check- in and out of accommodations for each stay/travel segment of this course. It will also be useful to bring with you travel-size cosmetics.
Students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms; towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. Hotel accommodations will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, with air-conditioned rooms.
The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
When class is in Athens a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m. While traveling, breakfast will be offered at the Hotel. A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included in the course fee.
Application deadline: April 1
Daniel J. Tolan