Early Moderns: Old Western Culture
About the course
Old Western Culture is a Christian approach to the Great Books. Early Moderns is an integrated humanities course designed to lead the student through Western Civilization’s early modern works of history, literature, and philosophy in a true liberal arts fashion. Students in the Early Moderns course will study the transition from the Renaissance period to the early modern period of Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott, ending just prior to the twentieth century. Students will learn to think critically about and cultivate answers to controversies surrounding the Scientific Revolution and the perennial human questions explored during the Enlightenment. Further, students will expand their imaginative faculties to envision truth in a context outside of reason alone.
- To become proficient in the conversational approach to learning: close readings, interpretive questions, and Socratic discussions of the texts.
- To gain a grasp of the literary figures and the historical framework of the time period.
- To develop lateral thinking skills by analyzing and synthesizing themes and motifs.
- To cultivate an appetite for learning as a way of life (the life of the mind).
- To cultivate a desire to pursue the highest things.
- To be able to think Christianly and write persuasively about perennial human questions.
Students taking this course will need to purchase the Old Western Culture: Early Modern's lectures and readers (students may access the PDFs of the readers free of charge). Roman Roads Media provides Kepler students with a 25% discount on all OWC Materials. See the Link Below for details.
UNIT ONE: RISE OF ENGLAND
- Sonnets 3, 73, 55, 60, 103, and 106 by William Shakespeare
- King Lear by William Shakespeare
- Richard III by William Shakespeare
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
- A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, Holy Sonnets X and XIV, Meditation XVII, by John Donne
- Redemption, The Collar, and Love (III) by George Herbert
- To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
- On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, Sonnet 16: On His Blindness, and Sonnet 15: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont by John Milton
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
UNIT TWO: POETRY AND POLITICS
- Essay on Criticism, Essay on Man, and Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope
- Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
- The Rhime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge
- Intimations of Immortality and The Solitary Reaper by Wordsworth
- She Walks in Beauty and The Destruction of Sennacherib by Byron
- In First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer by Keats
- Ode to the West Wind by Shelley
- The Lady of Shallot, In Memorium A.H.H., The Eagle, and Crossing the Bar by Tennyson
- Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, My Last Duchess, and Fra Lippo Lippi by Browning
- Dover Beach by Arnold
- Song, A Better Resurrection, and A Birthday by Rossetti
- God’s Grandeur, Windhover, and Pied Beauty by Hopkins
- The Cask of Omontillado, Anabel Lee, To Helen, The Raven, and The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe
- Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
UNIT THREE: THE ENLIGHTENMENT
- What is Enlightenment by Immanuel Kant
- The Sidereal Messenger, Letter to Benedetto Castelli, and Letter to the Grand Duchess by Galileo Galilei
- Discourse on Method and Meditations by René Descartes
- Laws of Gravity and Motion, General Scholium, and Optics by Isaac Newton
- An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
- An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense by Thomas Reid
UNIT FOUR: THE NOVELS
- The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
- The Bet by Chekhov
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- A Christmas Carol by Dickens
- Selected essay by C.S. Lewis