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Astronomy and Holy Scripture | Fall

Psalm 18 tells us, “The Heavens declare the glory of God; The firmament shows the creation of His hands.” Looking up at the sky on a clear night has filled people with awe and wonder for as long as mankind has been on the earth. When ancient people looked up, they saw more than just individual stars. The constellations became a way for them to tell stories and even to navigate the land and seas.
In this class, you will be given a brief introduction to Astronomy and a look into astronomical references in Scripture and in some of the Church Fathers. We will learn about some of the most prominent constellations and how to use them to navigate the night sky through all four seasons, stopping along the way to discuss different myths and stories behind the constellations, and any Biblical or patristic references related to them. At the end of the course, we’ll examine the Zodiac and investigate how the early Church would have understood its signs and its proper use.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • There is no required text for this class and all materials needed will be provide as links or downloads on Canvas.
  • Students should have a three-ring binder to use as a “field guide” that we will put together during the semester.

Optional Materials:

Dn. Michael DeHaven began his teaching career as a graduate student at the University of Kansas in 2008 and has taught several subjects in different capacities since then. Prior to that, he served for a little more than 10 years in the Air Force (Security Forces) and spent some time in the IT world as a help desk analyst and later as an operations engineer.
He holds a BA in German from Washburn University and an MA and PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Kansas but started off his college adventure as a Physics major and still maintains an active interest in science. While still in graduate school, he completed the St. Stephen’s Course in Orthodox Theology and was ordained to the Deaconate by His Grace Bishop Basil on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in 2017.
Dn. Michael serves at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Topeka, KS. He has been married to his wife Sandra since 1991 and has two grown daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys dabbling in languages, trying to improve his woodworking skills, and volunteering with the Civil Air Patrol. mdehaven9342@gmail.com

Red checkmarkComputer: 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.

Red checkmarkHigh-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.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: 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

Red checkmarkZoom: 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. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.

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