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Classical Thought

  • Minor

The Classical Thought Program

The modes of thought developed in the classical world are of vital interest to our self-understanding as members of a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts community. The Catholic intellectual tradition’s respect for the integration of faith and reason led the early church to build upon the philosophical schools of thought in the Greco-Roman world. As the Church spread throughout the world, the native and seminal wisdoms of other civilizations provided fertile fields for inculturation that are still vital today. Saint Benedict received an education rooted in this classical world. While he found it necessary to flee Rome in his spiritual journey, he ended up calling Rome to him with the founding of his monasteries and their educational apostolates.students-abroad.JPG

Finally, the very idea of a liberal arts education is a fruit of the classical world’s insistence that the “unexamined life is not worth living,” and thus that the cultivation of the intellect is worthy of pursuit for its own sake. Students interested in the classical world and in teaching or working at a classical school will find this minor an edifying addition to their course of studies at Saint Vincent.

  • Study on the Growth of Classical Liberal Arts Education

    Study on the Growth of Classical Liberal Arts Education

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements for a Minor in Classical Thought

    Classical Thought Minor (21-27 credits depending on previous Latin competency)

    PL-102 Art of Socratic Dialogue 3 credits
    PL-121 Logic and Theory of Knowledge 3 credits
    PL-201 Ancient Philosophy 3 credits
    HI-102 Ancient Greece and Rome 3 credits
    LT-101 Elementary Latin I 3 credits*
    LT-102 Elementary Latin II 3 credits*
    ED-232 Introduction to Classical Education 3 credits+

    2 Electives in Classical Texts from the following: 6 credits

    AR-101 Caves to Cathedrals (3 credits)
    EL-210 Classical Greek Poetry and Drama (3 credits)
    PL-262 Music and the Soul (3 credits)
    PL-303 Eastern Thought (3 credits)
    PL-305 Special Topics (3 credits)
    TH-201-209 (3 credits each)
    TH-310 Theology of Eastern Christianity (3 credits)
    PS-135 Classical Political Thought (3 credits)
    PL-273/PS-235 Roman Political Thought (3 credits)

    * Students may test out of these courses
    + Offered every other spring in odd-numbered years

Program Highlights

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Explain, accurately and charitably, significant ideas found in classical texts.
  • Use logic and critical reasoning to analyze and evaluate arguments as well as positions.
  • Express, effectively and charitably, philosophical ideas in dialogical form.
  • Master fundamental vocabulary and grammar in a classical language. 
  • Demonstrate an informed understanding of key events and personages in the classical world.
  • Practice methods appropriate to classical education to question, investigate and reason.