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Christian Love in Theory and Literature

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
English 98 / 198
1 Unit(s)

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About the Course:

What do we mean by the word ‘love’? Is it merely a feeling? Is love something that must be learned and cultivated, or is it an innate ability? Love is a term universally understood, yet when we say we love pineapples, our parents, our friends, our lovers, and even God, we obviously do not love these in the same way. This class will focus on love in a Christian context. We will examine this topic primarily through five books.

The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, by St. Augustine, an early church father, was written for Laurentius as a handbook on the Christian faith and deals with the virtues of faith, hope and love. Confessions, also by St. Augustine, is an autobiography detailing Augustine’s life and conversion to Christianity.

Agape and Eros, by Anders Nygren, a Lutheran theologian, primarily discusses how man’s relationship with God should be rightly understood.

The Four Loves is an exploration on the nature of human love based on four ancient Greek words for love (storge, philia, eros, and agape), and Till We Have Faces is a reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, portraying the many different facets of love.  The last two works are written by C.S. Lewis, who is most often recognized as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia.

As we read these books we will consider several conceptions of Christian love beginning with Augustine’s original formulation and Nygren’s and Lewis’ subsequent attempts. In the latter part of the course, we will use these books as a lens to examine Lewis’ portrayal of love in his fiction.

First day will be 1/28/2010.

Note: Only the following need to be purchased (1) The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis (2) Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.

Confessions by Augustine is available at Ned's, but is not required to be purchased. The text is public domain so it can be obtained online.

How to Enroll:

The course's CCN will be provided on the first day of class. If there are not enough seats, we will use a short application to determine enrollment.

Course Contact: achong AT berkeley.edu, jamesbpark AT berkeley.edu

Faculty Sponsor: Steven Justice

Time & Location:

SectionFacilitatorsSizeLocationTimeStartsStatusCCNs
The First.Aaron Hong
James Park
25243 DwinelleTh 5p-6:30p1/28full

Uploaded Files:

NameDateSizeTypeActions
Syllabus: ChristianLoveSyllabus2.docDec 535kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified January 22, 2010. This page has been viewed 3326 times.

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