Readings in Theology
Term: Yearlong 2021–22, September 7–May 27
Target Grade Levels: Grades 9–10
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Section 1: M/W 3:30 p.m. ET with Rhea Bright
Readings in Theology
The Canterbury House of Studies is a program dedicated to rediscovering and renewing a lively Anglican heritage of theology, scripture reading, and prayer. We will begin our readings in theology with the Patristic (ancient church fathers) and Medieval Periods before reading Anglican theologians of the Reformation and Modern Periods. In part, this will help us to see how Anglicanism builds upon the past, but in addition, these are also great works for any Christian to read.
We will begin with The Confessions of St Augustine of Hippo(c.400). This book is about Augustine’s conversion, or more properly, Augustine would say, it is about God converting Augustine to Himself. It also includes, in the final books, Augustine’s reflection on memory, on time and eternity, and the relation of mankind to the Divine Trinity.
The second text is by the great medieval Franciscan Bonaventure. It is called the Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, or The Journey of the Mind into God(1259). The title perhaps says enough. It is a work that describes the movement of the human soul to God. It brings the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus (of which Augustine speaks in the Confessions) into harmony with the God of Genesis
The third quarter will begin with a reading of An Apology of the Church of England(1562) by John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury. In his Apology, Bishop Jewel argues that the church in England has justly separated from Rome, and it is a reform and renewal of true catholicity, seeking to restore the church to the “faith once delivered to the saints”. This is an important work for Anglicans to understand the Anglican tradition as Biblical, catholic, and reformed. This reading may be supplemented with some other texts of the period which we will view online.
The modern text we will study is Oliver O’Donovan’s book, On the Thirty-nine Articles: A Conversation with Tudor Christianity(1986). This book examines the thought that informed one of the primary formularies of Anglicanism, the Thirty-nine Articles. In this context, O’Donovan bids us grapple with a wide range of matters of faith and religion and also with our relation to historic tradition.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
This course is suitable for rising 10th–12th graders who have strong reading skills and an interest in discussing philosophical and theological questions. This class asks for active intellectual engagement from the students. Assignments will be reading, often with short responses. Students are expected to read their assignments with attention and come to class prepared to engage in a discussion of the topics of the day. Students will also be asked to write end-of-semester essays in order to expand their personal thinking on selected topics.
How is faith integrated with this course?
Canterbury House of Studies is grounded in classical Anglicanism as expressed in the Common Prayer tradition and the Anglican formularies. The Anglican way of praying the words of Scripture, and of reading the Bible prayerfully as well as systematically, is a gift to the whole Christian world, and most Christians would find value in it. All are welcome in Canterbury classes; all Christian traditions are respected.
This class considers the cardinal virtues from the perspective of ancient philosophy and ancient, medieval, and modern theology, and always in the light of the Holy Scriptures. The theological virtues are explored through the via media of the English prayer book system and lectionaries.
See also Schole Academy’s statement on Faith and Culture.
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
- Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions 978-0199537822
Bonaventure, The Journey of the Mind into God 978-0-87220-200-9
This can be purchased directly from Hackett Publishing Co.
Bishop John Jewel, An Apology for the Church in England 978-1949716047
Oliver O’Donovan, On the Thirty-nine Articles: A Conversation with Tudor Christianity 978-0334043980
Rhea Bright holds a B.A. from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an M.A. in Classics from Dalhousie University, also in Halifax. Her Classical studies involved Latin and Greek, as well as classical and medieval literature, philosophy and theology. King’s Foundation Year Program, an early integrated great books curriculum, and the Dalhousie Classics department formed and nurtured what became a life-long love of the classics and a deep appreciation of the contribution of the ancient world to whatsoever is good and true and beautiful. She also has a Bachelor of Education from Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. Rhea taught Ancient and Medieval Humanities at the University of Central Oklahoma for nine years, and over the course of ten years at Providence Hall and The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, she taught Latin, Logic, Bible, and integrated ancient literature and history. Rhea is married to Father Patrick Bright, an ordained Anglican priest who served for over 24 years at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City and recently retired from full-time ministry. Together they raised five sons, now grown. They now live in a 170-year-old house in rural Nova Scotia.
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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