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Course Number: PHTH 625
Course Title: Dietrich Von Hildebrand: Philosophy and Spirituality
Term: Summer, 2014

Professor

Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.

Email: rchervin@holyapostles.edu

Phone 860- 632-3059 early summer, later 860-750-0451.

1. Course Description

Dietrich Von Hildebrand, Catholic phenomenologist, was one of the greatest and most influential thinkers of the Church of the 20th Century. In this course we will study books of his such as Ethics, The Heart, Transformation in Christ and Liturgy and Personality.

2. Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to articulate in writing major themes in the thought of D. Von Hildebrand. Students will relate the concepts in the readings to contemporary issues in morals and Church practice and spirituality. Students will be able to witness on the discussion board and, later, in ministry situations how these truths have been illustrated in their own personal experience.

3. Course Schedule

Week 1: May 5  Introduction and Christian Ethics 1

Readings:  Find biographical information about Dietrich Von Hildebrand by googling Von Hildebrand Legacy Project – Who is Dietrich Von Hildebrand?  Read Christian Ethics, introductory material and pp. 1-33

Assignments:  Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics pp. 1-33 including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. By Sunday midnight of the week after the assignment which starts on Monday. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 2: May 12   Christian Ethics 2

Readings: Christian Ethics pp. 34-78

Assignments:  Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 3: May 19 Christian Ethics 3

Readings: Christian Ethics, pp. 79-128

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 4: May 26 Christian Ethics 4

Readings: pp. 145-168; 169-179

Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 5: June 2 Christian Ethics 5

Readings: Christian Ethics, p. 191-256

Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 6: June 9 Liturgy and Personality 1

Readings: Introduction and pp. 9-45

Assignments:  Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Liturgy and Personality  including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 7: June 16 Liturgy and Personality 2

Readings: Liturgy and Personality p. 45 to end.

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 8: June 23 The Heart 1 or The Nature of Love 1

(Note: Some students may have read The Heart in another class. If so, you should read selections from The Nature of Love published after D. Von Hildebrand’s death.)

Readings: The Heart, Introduction and  Chapters 1 and 2. 

Assignments: 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 at least 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?

Readings: The Nature of Love, Preface and Introductory Study, pp. 1-57

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in The Nature of Love including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

 Week 9: June 30 Von Hildebrand – The Heart II or The Nature of Love

Readings:  The Heart:  Chapters 3-8

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 at least one other post.  

  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?

Readings: The Nature of Love, Chapters 6 and 8

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in The Nature of Love including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 10, July 7 Von Hildebrand – The Heart  III or The Nature of Love

Readings: Finish 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 at least 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. 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)
  1. (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?
  2. (Optional) Are you able to reveal sorrow in your heart for others? to God? Are you able to reveal neediness?
  3. Who are you favorite saints? How do they express the themes of love in The Heart?
  4. (Optional) When have you experienced loving a creature IN God? Have you ever had to make a choice to put God first?
  5. 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?
  6. Can you write a prayer for personal or group use concerning the issues in these pages of The Heart?

Readings: The Nature of Love, Chapters 10, 13, and 14

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in Christian Ethics including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 11: July 14 The Trojan Horse in the City of God: The Catholic Crisis Explained 1

Readings: Forward, Introduction and pp. 9-90

Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing the reading in The Trojan Horse and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post. 

Week 12: July 21 The Trojan Horse 2

Readings: Scan the book from Chapter 10 to the end.

 Assignments: Write a 4 page double-spaced response summarizing 4 chapters that you thought most important for your understanding of the Church in our times including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 13: July 28 Transformation in Christ 1 or Morality and Situation Ethics 1

Readings: Transformation in Christ, Introduction and Chapters I, II, III, and IV.

Assignments: Transformation in Christ, in 4 double-spaced pages summarize each of the chapters with examples from your own life or from others you have observed. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Readings:  Morality and Situation Ethics, pp. 3-87 first part of each chapter. (Note: Von Hildebrand puts the concept of the chapter in the first part of each one and then gives many illustrations and responses to possible objections. For the purpose of your first reading, you can concentrate on the first part of each chapter.)

Assignment: Morality and Situation Ethics, in 4 double-spaced pages summarize the first part of each chapter including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 14: August 4 Transformation 2 or Morality and Situation Ethics 2

Readings: Transformation in Christ other selected chapters. Choose 4 other chapters from chapter 5 on including the final chapter on True Surrender of Self.

Assignments: Transformation in Christ, in 4 double-spaced pages summarize each of the chapters with examples from your own life or from others you have observed. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Readings: Morality and Situation Ethics, pp. 87 to end (first part of each chapter)

Assignments: Morality and Situation Ethics, summarize the first part of each chapter including examples of your own that illustrate Von Hildebrand’s concepts and also questions you have about the reading. Send this paper to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the discussion board one insight from your response and also a response to at least one other student’s post.

Week 15: August 11 Presentation on Insights of Dietrich Von Hildebrand for an Adult Catholic Group

7 pages including quotations, power point, etc.

4. Course Requirements:

For your written assignments week by week, the response papers need to refer to the reading but do not need formal footnotes.

5. Required Readings:

D. Von Hildebrand, Christian Ethics (Von Hildebrand Legacy Project – $10 attachment from Christopher T. Haley, Director of Publications for Von H Legacy project at chaley@hildebrandlegacy.org)

D. Von Hildebrand, The Heart (Von Hildebrand Legacy Project) - $16.60

D. Von Hildebrand, Liturgy and Personality ($10 attachment order from Christopher T. Haley, Director of Publications for Von Hildebrand  Legacy Project at chaley@hildebrandlegacy.org)

D. Von Hildebrand, Nature of Love (Von Hildebrand Legacy Project - $28

D. Von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ (Von Hildebrand Legacy Project, $21.95

D. Von Hildebrand, Trojan Horse in the City of God (Manchester, N.H.: Sophia Institute Press, 1967)

6. Recommended Readings:

(Note: these books by Von Hildebrand are out of print but can be found used at Barnes and Noble or through public libraries from their inter-library loan).

What is Philosophy

Man and Woman

In Defense of Celibacy

In Defense of Purity

Humanae Vitae: Sign of Contradiction

7. Evaluation:

The grades are based on the paper responses and discussion board posts. There is a lateness penalty of 1 pt. off for each day of lateness unless student lets the professor know of some serious reason for lateness.

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). Your grade will be reduced for each assignment if I tell you to go to OWL and you do not do so indicated by the subsequent paper(s) being inadequate from a writing point of view.

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