Section: Humanities, Literature, Schools   |   School: School of Rhetoric

Having worshiped at the altar of unaided Reason in the 18th century, Western man drifted toward a more subjective, emotionally-driven philosophy of progress and optimism in the 19th century. But a radical shift took place in the 20th century that extinguished the unbridled idealism of the 1800s. At the same time, the West experienced a deterioration in the belief in objective reality and morality.

Students in this course explore the works of literature and various worldviews that have both shaped and reflected modern man. While considering what they learn from a biblical worldview, students prepare “to make a defense to anyone who asks … for a reason for the hope that is in” them. (I Peter 3:15).

Topics include: influential authors such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Albert Camus and C.S. Lewis; sources and implications of various worldviews such as existentialism, relativism, communism, atheism, multiculturalism and feminism; literary theory and how narrative communicates truth, including a thorough treatment of Critical Theory.

This course carries an honors designation. Due to the apologetic component of this class, students may receive credit against graduation requirements for either Literature or Theology.

Prerequisites: 12th graders with substantial exposure to great books such as those included in The Great Conversation series

Suggested Grade Level: 12

2023-2024 Book List