The Great Conversation is a longstanding dialogue about universal experiences, historical events, and philosophical ideas. Contained in what are known as the Great Books, this dialogue encapsulates the questions that have been asked and answered since the beginning of time and has shaped every aspect of Western civilization. In The Great Conversation courses, we engage the dialogue using a chronological and integrated approach to benefit from the context that each genre (literature, history, theology and philosophy) provides for the others. We do not study these writings from a supposedly neutral perspective, but rather from the context of the biblical worldview. The ultimate goal is that, as students learn to love what is good, true, and beautiful in these works, they will grow in their love of God and neighbor.

The Great Books are delightful, but also demanding. The Great Conversation courses aim to provide a foundation for life-long study of these works. School of Logic students become familiar with the great stories, events and ideas of the time through close reading. As they grow in their knowledge of the works, students will have the opportunity to examine and engage the ideas they encounter from a biblical perspective. School of Rhetoric students continue the habit of close reading and examination of the main ideas while cultivating deeper skills of thinking, integration, and expression. As they grow in their ability to express a topic with eloquence and relevance, students will become more effective in impacting the broader culture for Christ by speaking the truth in love for God and neighbor.

The Great Conversation 1

Students engage the Great Conversation at its beginning by learning some of the earliest and most beautiful stories ever written, along with the major events and ideas of ancient Mesopotamia, Israel, Greece and Rome. Along with several Bible books, students will study the work of Homer, Herodotus, Livy, Virgil and others. The course also includes […]

The Great Conversation 2

Students encounter The Great Conversation as it unfolded during the Middle Ages through a study of some the most influential works of the medieval times and some works inspired by this period. The course covers the period from the fall of Rome to the death of Elizabeth I and focusses on medieval England due to […]

The Great Conversation 3

Students study some of the most influential writings and events that shaped the modern world, beginning with the Protestant Reformation. Students will continue to develop their ability to both thoughtfully read a great book and to discuss its main ideas and questions with others. Aimed at School of Rhetoric students, class discussions and writing assignments […]

The Great Conversation 6

Covering the same period as The Great Conversation 3, this course is designed for upper level School of Rhetoric students and provides a walking tour of the people, ideas, and books from the Modern Era that have brought us to our present day. Using various works of theology, philosophy, and literature, students will consider how […]