Fall Semester

Humanities 103: Conversatio I

The Individual, The Community, & The Divine


Course Description

Rooted in the Benedictine vow that encourages faithfulness to a way of life within community, Conversatio is the foundational shared learning experience for every Saint Anselm student. HU 103 is the first semester of a year-long interdisciplinary course that provides students with an intellectual orientation to studies in the Liberal Arts and acquaints them with the distinctive value of those studies within the Catholic Benedictine tradition. The first semester of Conversatio considers the meaning of humanity in the world by reading and discussing seminal texts that contemplate who we are as individuals, what our responsibility is within a community, and what our relationship is with the divine. Among fundamental intellectual ideas, students are introduced to the Catholic Benedictine tradition through the writings of Saints Benedict and Anselm. As the common academic conversation orienting students to Saint Anselm College, Conversatio invites individuals to discover their intellectual place and voice within the Saint Anselm learning community by encouraging them to read critically, to contemplate significant questions about human existence, and to communicate their ideas to others with greater effectiveness

Reading List:

  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • St. Augustine, Selections from  On Free Choice of the Will.
  • Selections from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
  • St. Benedict, Selections from  The Rule of St. Benedict in English.
  • Selections from the writings of St. Hildegaard of Bingen
  • Boethius,  Consolation of Philosophy.
  • Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild.
  • Selections from  The Bhagavad-gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War.
  • The Gospel of Luke from Osiek, Carolyn, and Leslie J. Hoppe. Anselm Academic Study Bible.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,  Frankenstein. London.
  • Saint Anselm, Selections from the Monologion.

Films and Events:

  • Play performance of Sophocles, Antigone by Theater KAPOW.
  • Film, Groundhog Day.
  • Film, Of Gods and Men.


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