Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 University Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Enduring Questions Seminars


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Rosary College of Arts and Sciences

All students enroll each year in Enduring Questions Seminars, courses in which students consider multiple perspectives on personal, social, and philosophical issues by reading, discussing, and writing about the seminar topics. According to their class standing, students choose from a variety of seminars exploring the topics listed below.

  • The Examined Life First-Year Seminar (100 level)
  • Life in the Natural World (200 level)
  • The Good Life Senior Integrative Seminar (400 level)

While Enduring Questions Seminars are taught by instructors from various disciplines representing alternative approaches to the general topics, they share several features. As seminars, they are courses in which students, led by an instructor, investigate problems, design projects, explore resources, and share findings. They are, that is, courses in which students learn with and from one another. The seminars are thematic. Building on each prior semester, they take as their departure point questions, problems, and issues that are both universal and urgent-questions, problems and issues that engage the whole person throughout life.

Because all seminars at each class level share a common general topic and a common text, they place at the center of students’ Dominican education a shared experience; they embody for students the distinctive community of learners they have joined.

Most important, the seminars are integrative. They help students see and articulate connections between information and ideas originating in other courses. They help students see and articulate connections between their course work and their lives beyond the classroom. They help students see and articulate connections between their own lives and the lives of others-past, present, and future-in the communities and, ultimately, the society to which they belong. And, as seminars, they place the individual student at the center of this activity of mind: the student, in the company of others, makes her or his education coherent.

Specifically, the seminars help students engage texts from diverse fields of study, connect ideas and experiences across contexts, assert a defensible response to the questions under consideration, communicate effectively in oral forms, and communicate effectively in writing.

Students will “take” from their seminars no more and no less than they “give” to them. By engaging actively the materials encountered and the ideas of classmates, by first informing themselves, then participating thoughtfully in class discussions, and by completing diligently their portion of the work of the group, students gain new information, new insights, and new perspectives. More important, though, is that they gain a “new” way to learn and new respect for the power of the mind that they will carry with them into their lives beyond the classroom.

Seminar Themes, Guiding Questions, Common Texts:

  • The Examined Life First-Year Seminar (100 level)
    • Guiding questions:
      • What is the self?
      • Who am I? How did I become who I am? Who will I be in the world?
      • What does it mean to live mindfully and reflectively? What helps and hinders that process?
    • Common Text
      • Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha, Living Christ
  • Life in the Natural World Seminar (200 level)
    • Guiding questions:
      • How do we define the natural world? How do we learn about, experience, and interact with the natural world?
      • How do diverse societies and cultures understand their relationship with the natural world, in both its power and its fragility?
      • What would it mean to live mindfully on Earth? How can we share responsibility for shaping the future of the planet on behalf of generations to come?
    • Common text
      • Pope Francis’ On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si)
  • The Good Life Senior Integrative Seminar (400 level)
    • Guiding questions:
      • What does it mean to be good, to lead a good life?
      • How does one reconcile self-interest with a sense of social responsiblity?
    • Common text:
      • Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

 

Courses

    Senior Honors Seminars: Wisdom and PowerLiberal Arts and Sciences SeminarsLAS Freshman SeminarsThe Good Life : Senior Integrative Seminar (400 level)

    Prerequisite for all senior seminars: senior standing and completion of a Life in the Natural World Seminar.

    Life in the Natural World SeminarsEnduring Questions Seminars

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Rosary College of Arts and Sciences