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Course Number: PHTH 500
Course Title: D. Von Hildebrand and C.S. Lewis on the Nature of Love
Term: Online Learning, Summer, 2014

Professor

Dr. Ronda Chervin  chervinronda@gmail.com

Phone: 860-632-3059 early Summer; 860-759-4521 later Summer.

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

In this course the nature of love, as explored by Dietrich Von Hildebrand and C.S. Lewis, will be studied from philosophical, spiritual and psychological perspectives. Topics will include what love is, types of love, loving and unloving masculine/feminine traits, marriage and family, friendship, obstacles to love.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will be able to discourse about love in conversation and ministry situations with precision about the nature of love and the types of love analyzed by Von Hildebrand and Lewis.

Students will better understand the obstacles to love constituted by their own faults and defects and, therefore, be able to help others to detect such obstacles in a compassionate manner. The insights in the readings can be applied helpfully in youth ministry, spiritual counseling for the married and other parish ministries.

3. COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1: May 5: What is Love?

Readings:

  • Way of Love: What is Love: Introduction and Sessions 1-2

Assignments:

  • Write a 1 page double-spaced paper on your answers to questions in Session 1 and another 1 page double-spaced paper on your answers to questions in Session 2. You can add optional reflections based on the spiritual exercises for Sessions 1 and 2. NOTE: It is your choice in each assignment in this course whether to focus on general concepts only or also on the relationship of the concept to your own life.  These responses are to appear on the discussion board on Populi by Sunday midnight. For each week you need to respond to one post by another student.  Lateness penalties are described under the evaluation section of this syllabus.

Week 2: May 12 : Virtues: Moral Responses of Love, Feminine/Masculine…

Readings:

  • From What is Love? Sessions 8, 11-15.

Assignments:

  • Write a 4 pages double spaced response paper touching on a question from each of the 6 Sessions. Post on Discussion Board.  Respond to another student’s post. You may include personal answers if you wish.

Week 3 May 19: Obstacles to Love

Readings:

  • Way of Love: Obstacles to Love: Sessions 1-4

Assignments:

  • Choose 3 more sessions from Obstacles and write a 3 page double-spaced response paper based on questions in EACH of the three sessions, including optional personal responses. Post on Discussion Board and respond to one other student’s post.

Week 4 May 26:  C. S. Lewis 4 Loves I

Readings:

  • C.S. Lewis:  Introduction, and Chapter 1,

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response paper of examples of Lewis’ ideas from your own life and your insights coming from the reading. Post on Discussion Board and respond to one other student’s post.

Week 5: June 2 C.S. Lewis 4 Loves II

Readings:

  • Lewis 4 Loves, Chapter 2

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response paper of examples of Lewis’ ideas from your own life and your insights coming from the reading. Post on Discussion Board and respond to one other student’s post.

Week 6: June 9  Lewis 4 Loves, Chapter 3 and 4

Readings:

  • Lewis 4 Loves, Chapters 3 and 4

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response paper of examples of Lewis’ ideas from your own life and your insights coming from the reading. Post on Discussion Board and respond to one other student’s post.

Week 7: June 16:  Finish Lewis Chapters 5 and 6

Readings:

  • Lewis 4 Loves, Chapters 5 and 6

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response paper of examples of Lewis’ ideas from your own life and your insights coming from the reading. Post on Discussion Board and respond to one other student’s post.
  • Choose a final project to be confirmed by the professor next week.  Note book choices are described under Section 6 of the Syllabus -  Suggested Readings - and are divided between B.A. readings and M.A. readings.

Week 8: June 23 Von Hildebrand – The Heart I

Process

  • Read The Heart, Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2.
  • Listen to Lecture of the Heart 1

Assignments:

Approval of Projects.

Write a 3 page double-spaced response to questions below. Be sure to answer questions 1, 3, and 4.   Send your answer to me at rchervin@holyapostles.edu and put up one highlight from the whole assignment on the discussion board and respond to one other post.   

  1. According to Von Hildebrand, what is the heart? What is love?
  2. Do you consider yourself to be more a person of the mind? A person of will-power? A person of the heart? All three in equal balance? What factors in your family background might contribute to your character in terms of emphasis on mind, will or heart?
  3. Von Hildebrand shows how fear of out of control passion, sentimentality, and other negative ways of being a person of the heart can influence people to think the heart is inferior to the mind and the will. (Optional) In your experience have good responses of the heart such as, love, joy, peace…outweighed feelings you find troublesome?
  4.  Make a list of typical feelings (optional that you have or) observe in others that are not at the level of what Von Hildebrand calls spiritual affectivity. (optional) What are objects of your authentic affective value responses?
  5. Can you write a prayer for personal or group use concerning the issues in these pages of The Heart?

Week 9: June 30 Von Hildebrand – The Heart II

Process

  • Read Chapters 3-8 in the Heart.
  • Listen to Lecture on the Heart 2.

Assignments:

  • Let me know by email which book you have chosen for your final project. Be sure to start your book now and do not wait until the end. Respond to each of the questions below in a 3 page double-spaced paper to the questions below. Send your answer to me at rchervin@holyapostles.edu and put up one highlight from the whole assignment on the discussion board and respond to one other post.

Questions

  1. Make a list of tender emotions mentioned by Von Hildebrand as well as others you can think of. In each case give examples of these emotions in specific types of situations such as sweet feelings when seeing an old friend after a long hiatus.
  2. Can you think of anyone who suppresses tender feelings? Can you think of instances of a break-through of tender feelings in such a person?
  3. What is being emotional in a way that is not appropriate? How would bringing in the intellect or the will bring balance? What forms of atrophy of the heart have you experienced in yourself (optional) or others? What do you think causes such a stance toward life? Have you ever witnessed a change for the better in such persons?
  4. (Optional) Can you write a prayer for personal or group use concerning the issues in these pages of The Heart?
  5. What forms of hard-heartedness have you experienced in yourself (optional) or in others? including literary or political figures?
  6. Von Hildebrand describes different ways the heart can become a tyrant. Have you experienced any of these in yourself (optional) or others including literary characters or famous people?
  7. Describe key moments in your life when you were moved in your heart to respond in a new way to other human beings or to God?

Week 10, July 7 Von Hildebrand – The Heart  III

Process

  • Listen to the Lecture of the Heart 3
  • Finish reading The Heart

Assignments:

Respond with a 3 page double-spaced paper to the questions below and send to me at rchervin@holyapostles.edu and post a highlight from your responses to the reading on the discussion board, also responding to one other post.

  1. What Scripture passage for you most expresses Jesus’ love?
  2. When have you gone beyond what is obligatory to help a stranger? (Optional) When have you witnessed someone going beyond the obligatory to help a stranger?
  3. 3. What things do you do for those close to you or in any situation which are super-abundant? (Optional)   What examples can you think of that illustrate the concept of super-abundance.
  4. When have you experienced God’s merciful love (optional) or seen others receiving it? Do others think of you as more merciful or more just? (optional)
  5. (Optional) Are you more like the publican or the Pharisee? When have you been able to accept a servant role vs. wanting to be boss? In what ways could you be called to be more of a servant in your present life role or a future one?
  6. (Optional) Are you able to reveal sorrow in your heart for others? to God? Are you able to reveal neediness?
  7. Who are you favorite saints? How do they express the themes of love in The Heart?
  8. (Optional) When have you experienced loving a creature IN God? Have you ever had to make a choice to put God first?
  9. Find the Litany to the Sacred Heart on the Web. Print it out. (Optional) Pray it yourself or with others. (Optional) What lines particularly give you joy?
  10. Can you write a prayer for personal or group use concerning the issues in these pages of The Heart?

Week 11: July 14 Von Hildebrand – Marriage I

Readings:

  • Von Hildebrand, Marriage – up to 2nd section entitled Love & the mystery of sacramental marriage.

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response about ideas in this book you found most insightful or questionable. Provide examples of marriages you have witnessed that fit concepts in the book about good or difficult marriages. Put this on the Discussion Board and post a response also to some other student post.

Week 12: July 21 Von Hildebrand – Marriage II

Readings:

  • Finish Marriage

Assignments:

  • Write a 2 page double-spaced response about ideas in this book you found most insightful or questionable. Provide examples of marriages you have witnessed that fit concepts in the book about good or difficult marriages. Put this on the Discussion Board and post a response also to some other student post.

Week 13: July 28  Project

Assignments:

  • Read the book you picked for your project making notes toward your presentation.
  • MA students must start working on providing your seven page, double spaced summary of the book you are reading for the project, which is due week 15.

Week 14: August 4

  • Put up Project Presentation. MA students continue working on your seven-page summary of your book. M.A. students continue to prepare your summary papers due week 15.

Week 15: August 11

  • Respond to some other Project Presentation. MA students, please email seven-page summary of your book to Dr. Chervin via email at rchervin@holyapostles.edu.

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Responses to Readings and Discussion Posts 80%
  • Project  20%

5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

[PLEASE GET ALL REQUIRED BOOKS, ETC. AT THE START OF THE CLASS TO AVOID CONFUSION LATER] 

Chervin, Ronda: The Way of Love  (CreateSpace/Amazon  $9.99 Kindle $4.99) or get from our Holy Apostles Onine bookstore.

Lewis, C.S.: The Four Loves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1991.) ISBN 10:0156329301. (Get from Holy Apostles Online bookstore. You can get this for about $5 off Barnes and Noble)  

Von Hildebrand, Dietrich, Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love. (Sophia Institute Press, 1991). ISBN 0-918477.00-X (Get from Holy Apostles Online bookstore or you can get this for about $5 off Barnes and Noble)

Von Hildebrand, Dietrich, The Heart: An Analysis of Human and Divine Affectivity. (St. Augustine’s Press, 2007) ISBN 1-58731-357-x ($24 Hardcover.) or Holy Apostles Online bookstore or try Barnes and Noble for used.

6. SUGGESTED READINGS for Project Presentations (This unit is described under #7 Evaluations.)

For B.A. Students:

Von Hildebrand, Alice: Refined by Love”; C.S. Lewis ( fiction - ‘Til We Have Faces or  That Hideous Strength – fiction; Chervin, Ronda: Taming the Lion Within: Five Steps from Anger to Peace; Spiritual Friendship: The Darkness and the Light; Healing of Rejection; Called by Name: Finding Your Personal Spirituality ; Sartre, John Paul: No-Exit (get off the web)   or  Lu Lee: A Time Far Past (get on library on-line); Fr. Roger J. Landry: Becoming a Real Man of God – take off the web by searching for the author and title -  free from the Knights of Columbus); Pope Benedict, Deus Caritas Est (get on line).

For M.A. Students:

D’Arcy, Martin: The Mind and Heart of Love; Frankl, Victor: Man’s Search for Meaning;John Paul II (Wojtyla): Love and Responsibility; Von Hildebrand, Dietrich: Transformation in Christ; Chervin, Ronda, Feminine, Free and Faithful.

Other?  Check with Dr. Ronda

7. EVALUATION

Short response papers and postings on Populi, week by week = 80% of the grade.

These responses and posts must be finished by Sunday midnight of the week of the assignment. Otherwise there will be a lateness penalty of 1 pt. per day unless the student has an emergency type of excuse.  80% of the grade.  

Project Presentations = 20% of the grade.  

Your project directly relates one of the readings under #6 above to the concepts in this course that could be used in a specific ministry situation such as Adult Ed., Youth, High School Students, a spiritual growth group such as a 3rd Order, Cursillo, Charismatic Prayer Group, etc. You must use materials from readings divided for B.A. students or M.A. students listed under #6.  DO NOT EVEN THINK OF CUTTING AND PASTING FROM WEB-SITES ON LOVE. DO NOT EVEN THINK OF BASING THE PRESENTATION ON A PAPER FOR ANOTHER COURSE. THE PRESENTATION MUST REFLECT CONCEPTS IN THIS COURSE. The presentation of this project can be a lecture or power-point, or multi-media. MA students must also provide a seven page, double-spaced summary of the book you read for the project, which is due week 15.

Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 D 60-69; F 59 and below

8. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

9. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

10. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

11. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday

12. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

 chervinDr. Ronda Chervin has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute.

She is a convert to the Catholic faith from a Jewish but atheistic background. She has been a professor at Loyola Marymount University, St. John's Seminary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Our Lady of Corpus Christi, and presently teaches at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut.

More than fifty books of hers have been published by Catholic presses in the area of philosophy and spirituality. Dr. Ronda presents on EWTN and Catholic radio. She is a dedicated widow and grandmother.

Dr. Ronda can best be reached at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. You can call me, EDT, at 860-632-3059 in Connecticut or at 860-759-4521 when my sessions at Holy Apostles face to face are not in session. Any time between noon and 10 PM is good to call.

 

(860) 632-3010