Romancing Orthodoxy: Readings in G.K.

Chesterton
(Cross-listed as ENG393SD and IDS393SD) M/W 11:00-12:15pm
Prof. Sean Davidson Office: 133D Office hours: by appt. E-mail: sdavidson@briercrest.ca Home #: 756-2222 Work #: 756-3421

Course Outline and Objectives This course will focus on some of Chesterton’s more well-known works, ranging from his early essays and apologetic writings to famous novels like The Man Who Was Thursday and Manalive. Throughout, we will seek to appreciate Chesterton’s insightful critique of modernity as well as his extraordinary defense of Christianity in the face of growing secularism in the West. Prerequisite I’ll expect students to have completed ENG100 and ENG101 plus at least one AS or BT elective beyond the 200-level. If you do not fall into this category, please come and see me ASAP. Required Texts Chesterton, G.K. Heretics. West Valley City, UT: Waking Lion Press, 2006. (ISBN: 1600962246) ---. Manalive. New York: Dodo Press, 2006. (ISBN: 1406510084) ---. Orthodoxy. West Valley City, UT: Waking Lion Press, 2007. (ISBN: 160096527X) ---. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis Assisi. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002. (ISBN: 0898709458) ---. The Everlasting Man. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993. (ISBN: 0898704448) ---. The Man Who Was Thursday. New York: Modern Library, 2001. (ISBN: 0375757910) Course Pak Chesterton, G.K. “The Secret of Father Brown.” ---. “The Secret Garden.” ---. “The Invisible Man.” Quick Reference Format Guide (2007-08). Briercrest College, 2007. Assignments All major assignments must be completed in order to receive a passing grade in the course. Assignments will be submitted at the beginning of class on the assigned day. Standard penalties for lateness will apply.

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1. Reading and Participation (20%) Given the highly participative nature of this class, it will be important for everyone to keep up with the assigned readings and show up regularly, ready to engage in conversation. Notice that I will be requiring a given text to be read in full on the first day that we begin to treat it in class. What this means is that we will be reading all texts at least twice—once to get the big picture and a second time to focus more narrowly on a few chapters. This is a demanding reading schedule, but keep in mind that you are only responsible for primary sources in this course. Make sure to plan your reading time appropriately. I will ask for a brief reading report (short paragraph or chart outlining your progress) on the days when entire texts are due to be read. I realize that the prospect of contributing in class discussion will be intimidating for some of us, but keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to join in. Participating actively does not require you to have all the right answers (hopefully we’ll learn that there can be a range of “right” answers) and nor does it demand a contribution of fully formed ideas. In fact, it can include a request for clarification or a word of affirmation for one of your peers. Even a confession of perplexity can contribute positively (and powerfully) to discussion. Also, for those who tend to think while speaking, please feel free to explore the possibilities aloud. Whatever the case, just make sure that you are looking for ways to get involved. As John Donne might put it, endeavor to be more than a “halfe-present man” (or woman) “whose body is here, and mind away” or worse “whose body is but halfe here, his limbes are here upon a cushion, but his eyes, his eares are not here.” Come to class with your whole person—heart, mind, soul—ready to contribute actively to your own learning and the learning of others. 2. Short Essay and Seminar (15%) Over the course of the term you will be required to compose one short essay (at least five pages) and deliver it to the class in seminar style. The purpose of this essay is for you to engage closely with assigned text and to help frame a class discussion around a particular topic as it relates to the text. Each essay will be comprised of five components. Here are the instructions: i. With a topic in mind, choose a particular passage to focus on from the assigned reading and cite it as an epigraph to your short essay. ii. Begin your essay by introducing your topic and connecting it to your epigraph. (1/2 page) iii. Expand and explore by treating your epigraph in relation to its immediate context in the assigned reading and the larger context of the work as a whole. You may include a consideration of other assigned readings in this section. (4 pages) iv. Pose at least two questions that are conducive to exploring the topic/text further with the class. (1/2 page) v. Include a title for your essay that reflects the relationship between the topic and text. The following is a list of possible topics for your short essays. Of course, not all of them

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will be relevant for any given text, but they will undoubtedly spark your imagination to the possibilities. Also, it might be helpful to think of possible combinations (i.e. “Theology and the Poets”; “Truth and Paradox”; “Science and Spirituality”; etc.): Language Optimism Theology Modernity Family Women Laughter Patriotism Heretics Sin Love Sanity Pacificism Mysticism The Heart Materialism The Poets Evolution Spirituality Science Medicine Absurdity History Confession Cynicism Home Protestant Orthodoxy Emotion Paganism Aestheticism Friendship Marriage Paradox Nonsense Jesus Religion Christianity Domesticity Religion Children Logic Truth Irony Literature Frivolity Lying Ignorance Beauty Socialism Transformation Secularism Metaphysics Skepticism Life Scripture Equality Imagination Authority Psychology Freedom Power Youth Revolution Death Economics Anarchy Simplicity Catholic Adventure

Presenters must indicate their choice of topic at least one class in advance of their seminar presentation so that other students can get to work on their reading journal and prepare for class discussion. As we go, it’ll be important to avoid proposing topics that have already been suggested in connection with other assigned texts. I will post a seminar sign up sheet on my office door at the beginning of the term. 3. Reading Journal (35%) This assignment will help you to prepare to discuss assigned readings in relation to essay topics submitted by your peers for their seminar presentations (see above). It’ll also give you the opportunity to record observations, ask questions, cite important passages, and make connections in relation to bigger themes and ideas that are important in Chesterton’s works. The goal is to stimulate your thinking and help you to keep engaged with your reading. The journal can include drawings, quotations, brief notes, questions, commentary, critique, etc. Marking will be based on evidence of thoughtful, thoroughgoing interaction with seminar topics and assigned texts. Have fun with this assignment! The sky’s the limit, but be careful not to over-extend yourself. Completing journal entries on the topics and assigned readings is your ticket to class. If you have not followed through on your journal entry for a given day will be asked to leave at the beginning of class and invited to return when the assignment is finished. This may seem a little severe, but we want to make sure that everyone is showing up ready to make a contribution. Again, the success of a course like this depends on a high level of student participation. In our reading and journaling, let’s be imagining the possible role we could play in class discussion.

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The minimum requirement for this assignment one half-page entry per seminar presentation (this would probably land you somewhere in the B range). Higher marks will be awarded to those who go beyond the minimum requirement and provide a more extensive treatment of topics and texts with insightful reflection throughout. Journals will be submitted twice for marking, once on Oct. 17 for a provisional midterm mark and a second time on Dec. 12 for a final mark. The provisional mark is intended to give you an idea of your performance to date. It will not affect your final mark negatively as long as it is a C+/68 or higher. 4. Formal Essay / Final Exam (30%) For your final exam, I’d like you to write an 8-10 page formal essay on a topic of your own choosing. Unlike your short essays, the formal essay will require you to develop a clear, cogent and compelling thesis and argue it in relation to at least three of the assigned texts from the term. Essays are due by 5:00pm on Dec. 18. Assignment Due Dates at a Glance Assignment Participation Reading reports Short Essay and Seminar Reading Journal Formal Essay (Final Exam) Due Date N/A See below TBD Oct. 17 (midterm) Dec. 12 (final) Dec. 18 (5:00pm) Value 20% 15% N/A 35% 30%

Schedule of Readings and Assignments Date Sept. 5 1 0 1 2 1 7 1 9 2 4 2 6 Readings Heretics: Chapters I-V Heretics: Chapters VI-X Heretics: Chapters XI-XV Heretics: Chapters XVI-XX Orthodoxy: Chapters I-II Orthodoxy: Chapters III-IV Assignments Heretics read Orthodoxy: reading report due Short assignments begin . . . -

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Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

1 3 8 1 0 1 5 1 7 2 2 2 4 2 9 3 1 5 7 1 2 1 4 1 9 2 1 2 6 2 8 3 5 1 0 1 2

Orthodoxy: Chapters V-VII Orthodoxy: Chapters VIII-IX

-

Thanksgiving St. Francis of Assisi: Chapters I-IV St. Francis: reading report St. Francis of Assisi: Chapters V-VII St. Francis of Assisi: Chapters VIII-X Reading journal: midterm mark

Modular Reading Week

The Man Who Was Thursday: Chapters I-V The Man Who Was Thursday: Chapters VI-X

TMWWT: reading report due -

The Man Who Was Thursday: Chapters XI-XV Manalive: Part I, Chapters I-III Remembrance Day Manalive: Part I, Chapters IV-V Manalive: Part II Father Brown: “The Secret of Father Brown”; “The Secret Garden” Father Brown: “The Invisible Man” The Everlasting Man: Part I, Chapters I-III The Everlasting Man: Part I, Chapters IV-VI The Everlasting Man: Part I, Chapters VII-VIII The Everlasting Man: Part II, Chapters I-III The Everlasting Man: Part II, Chapters IV-VI Manalive: reading report due Father Brown: reading report The Everlasting Man: reading report due Reading journal: final mark

Bibliography There is no reason for you to consult secondary sources for this course and in fact I would caution you from doing so. It is all too easy to misuse secondary sources when striving to read primary texts closely. There are times when secondary sources will be essential for research, but for this course I’d like you to focus on primary texts alone. Note on Plagiarism

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My point in the previous section leads naturally to this one. Of course, you will not need to worry about plagiarism if you steer clear of secondary material, but if you decide to consult other works and borrow ideas or words from them, make sure that you do so correctly. Just so we’re clear, you are plagiarizing if you submit “the work of others, published or unpublished, in whole or in part without acknowledgement or proper documentation” (BC Student Handbook, 6). To avoid charges of plagiarism, make sure to cite your sources throughout the body of your work, remembering to include the proper bibliographic information for each citation in your reference list. For further information on documentation see the Quick Reference Format Guide, pp. 10-23. For further information on plagiarism, see the BC Student Handbook, pp. 6-7. http://www.briercrest.ca/college/prospective/academics/handbook/handbook.pdf NOTE: Penalties for plagiarism can range from a zero on an assignment to failure in the course.