Academic Catalog

Great Books Sequences


When the opportunity arises, faculty members may assemble two or more interdisciplinary classes based upon readings from great works in their areas. These sequences are meant to introduce students to some of the fundamental methods and principles found in the various disciplines that make up a liberal education.

What characterizes such sequences is that they aim at integrating general education in two or more disciplines through the reading and discussion of great works. Such an integration is an instance of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts, since, beyond being introduced to the disciplines, students and teachers alike come to see the connections among the works read (and consequently among the disciplines themselves).

Great books sequences are co-taught by instructors who have expertise in one of the subject areas under consideration. For example, seminars in a sequence focusing upon philosophy and physics (and the connections between them) would be led by two instructors, one from each discipline.

Students taking such classes are expected to read the assigned texts carefully and to discuss their content in class: indeed, class participation is one of the main measures instructors use to determine student grades. The other is tests (oral or written) on the content of the works read and the in-class discussions.

A great books sequence currently consists of a three-semester sequence, “Faith and Reason,” that focuses on the foundational works in philosophy and theology. See:

PHIL-3670Faith & Reason I4
THEO-3680Faith & Reason II4
THEO-3690Faith & Reason III2
PHIL-3690Faith & Reason III2