Comparative Civilizations 12

Course Overview

Students who are unable to travel to Europe on Spring Break with the more extensive Comparative Civilizations Program can choose to sign up for the basic Comparative Civilizations 12 Online Course and work through an array of readings and exercises that explore the emergence of the human story from antiquity to the modern era. After being introduced to a well laid out analytical schema for understanding how to inquire and explore historical realities, students will apply their learning to documented historical events, literature, art, and philosophy, which have defined the 'western story'. Within each of these genres, students will examine and consider the merits of political, social, and economic structures, paying particular attention to the underlying cultural mythos which animates day-to-day thinking, habits of thought, and essential cultural motivations of given times and places. Western societies will be compared with non-western perspectives, so that as well as understanding some of the patterns of the western mind (and life), we will appreciate the wider human story to marvel at the mysteries of man across time and according to varied perspectives. In the end, the course will help you appreciate how across time and place human beings solve day to day problems, create stories and systems to govern everyday practices, and define hope to produce cultural flourishing.

The course operates within a user-friendly manner so that students are given the greatest amount of time to examine content having more personal interest. The first four units (lessons) will introduce students to the investigative principles for studying cross-cultural meaning-making, while also providing the analytical schema for being able to identify critical historical patterns (i.e. the variety of instruments and systems used to galvanize common motivations and the various ways they are brokered by a ruling elite to assure common destiny – for example, the American Dream in the North American context. Following the first four lessons, which satisfy the majority of learning outcomes, students will be able to choose civilizations of interest, in which case they can apply the skills they’ve learned to perform meaningful historical inquiry. In the end, students will produce a brief personal response paper that allows them to discover something significant about the nature of man and society-building in the context of comparative hope-based ideologies and mechanisms.


Time Commitment:

100 hours (3 hours/week linear)


Pre-requisites: NONE (SS10 is a benefit)

Enrollment Information

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