Academics

Westminster/Wesleyan University: Spring 2018 Schedule

Taught by Virginia Wesleyan faculty, the courses are offered on-site at no cost to those living at Westminster-Canterbury.

Tuesdays @ 10:00 a.m.

January 30 and February 6
Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

“Heritage of Christian Hymns”
Deborah Carr, Adjunct Professor of Music/Center for Sacred Music at Virginia Wesleyan University
Come join us for a journey through the History of Hymns in Christian Worship. We sing this music in our worship and this is an in depth exploration of the history and stories behind this incredible heritage.

January 30    
Early Christian hymnody in the catacombs, the Carol, hymns that defined the Reformation in Germany, Geneva and England (including those dreaded Wesley’s!)

February 6
We explore hymns of the early American Colonies and New England, shaped note harmony and the Appalachian mountains, the African American Spiritual and Gospel songs. We will finish our journey in the present time by briefly exploring what is happening today in our worship with hymns, praise and worship choruses and Taize service chants.

February 20 – April 10
Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Theology and Imagination in C. S. Lewis’s Narnia Stories: The Enchantment of Theology
Dr. Benson P. Fraser, Westminster-Canterbury Fellow for Religious Studies and Lifelong Learning
This study of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia will examine the imaginative apologetics found in these seven books. The intention is to connect Lewis’s imaginative work with his nonfiction and apologetic works. Furthermore, we will strive to identify the various sources Lewis used from medieval and renaissance writers in creating these stories. The effort is to show that the Chronicles are more than just children’s books but serious literature and that important theological content is smuggled into these stories. 

February 20 - Introduction to Lewis and the Chronicles
February 27 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Jupiter)
March 6 - Prince Caspian (Mars)
March 13 - The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’ (Sol)
March 20 - The Silver Chair (Luna)
March 27 - The Horse and His Boy (Mercury)
April 3 - The Magician’s Nephew (Venus)
April 10 - The Last Battle (Saturn)

April 17 – May 8
Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Tricksters, Psychopomps, Maidens, and Monsters: Homer’s Wonder book for Girls and Boys.

Dr. Benjamin Haller, Associate Professor of Classics and Chair of the Classics Department and Chair of the Comprehensive Liberal Studies Program

The Homeric Hymns and works which have copied them provide narratives of the births of the Greek gods. Originally composed as poems of praise in honor of the deities for performance at festivals, they are the oldest sources for some of the most familiar stories about the Greek and Roman gods: Hermes inventing the lyre and stealing his brother Apollo’s cattle on the day he is born, Aphrodite seducing Anchises, etc. There is often a Superman-like quality to the myths, as each god discovers that he or she possesses a superpower and tries it out. As a class, we discuss the work’s cultural relevance to the history of Western art and literature, and the work’s relevance to our own lives.

April 17
I. Melesigenes Meets a Monster:  Homer, the Cyclops, and the Wrath of Poseidon
Reading:  Odyssey Books 1, 5, 6, and 9 Theocritus Idyll 11

April 24
II.  Dangerous Goddesses, Chaste Heroines, and Chased Heroes
Reading:  Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite Odyssey Books 4 and 10

May 1             
III. Melesigenes Meets his Match:  Metis, the Death of Homer, and the Homecoming of Odysseus
Reading:  Odyssey 13, 19-22

May 8             
IV. "Do Not Seek to Become Zeus!" Gods and Mortals Learning to Gnothi their Sauton in the World of Greek Epic
Reading:  Odyssey 23-24 Homeric Hymn to Hermes and Homeric Hymn to Demeter 

Wednesday @ 6:00 p.m.

January 24, 2018
Wednesday 6:00—7:30 p.m.

Films and Hymns
Dr. Terrence Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Endowed Chair in Communication and Christian Thought and Professor of Communication

January 24       Films and Hymns

March 7, 14, 21, & 28
Wednesday 6:00—7:00 p.m.

“You prepare a table before me”: Approaching Judaism through Food”
Dr. Eric Mazur, Gloria & David Furman Professor of Judaic Studies and the Religion, Law, & Politics Fellow, Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University

Judaism, often negatively misrepresented as "a religion of laws," is based on the loving relationship of a God who expects holiness and a people who strive to meet those expectations. Likely the most accessible way to come to understand this relationship is through food; not only does every living this eat, but in the American dominant culture where Protestantism - one of the few religions of the world with little in the way of "food rules" - is the norm, it is one of the more obvious (though misunderstood) cultural markers. This series of talks will introduce the basic Jewish understanding of God's commandments (particularly but not exclusively as they relate to food), and explore how these "food rules" permeate Jewish life, ritual practice, and culture.

March 7   “And these thing which I command you this day…” Judaism and God’s Commandments
March 14 “My cup runneth over”: God’s Commandments and ‘Eating,’ Jewishly
March 21 “There was evening, and there was morning” Eating Through the Jewish Year
March 28  “A time to live, and time to die”: Eating Through the Jewish Cycle of Life.  

April, 4, 2017
Wednesday 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Film and Remembering
Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson, Professor of Communication

This class includes watching and discussing an Academy-Award winning best picture.  If you prefer to see the film in your apartment on closed-circuit TV, you may join us for the discussion later in the evening.  This class will be facilitated by students from Virginia Wesleyan University who are in Dr. Jackson's film class. A survey given in January will determine the Academy Award-winning film you most want to see.  We encourage those residents who participate in the discussion to not only talk about the film but also to relate it to your lives, incorporating events and reflections that took place when you first viewed the film in a theater.

Thursdays @ 1:00 p.m.

March 1, 8, 15 & 22
Thursdays, 1:00 –2:00 p.m.

“Topics in United States Art History”
Dr. Joyce B. Howell,  Professor of Art History
This course begins with concepts art historians use, and which we will apply, to analyzing and interpreting art. Each week we will investigate a different topic in US art from Colonial times to the 20th century. Through this investigation, we will attempt to identify significant themes and problems in defining national and cultural identity.

March 1  The iconography of a new nation
March 8   Citizens, slaves, and indigenous peoples: Racial and other issues in representing each other
March 15 The Garden of Eden and the Manifest Destiny: issues in representing the American landscape
March 22  Institutions and empowerment: Architecture

March 29 & April 5
Thursdays, 1:00 –2:00 p.m.

Mea Culpa 101: Image restoration strategies among business leaders, celebrities and athletes in the modern media age.”
Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, Batten Associate Professor of Communication and Chair of the Communication Department at Virginia Wesleyan University

This course will examine recent communication efforts to bolster and regain public trust in the face of negative news. Case studies will underscore the power of reputation and the impact of an effective response to counter damaging publicity in an age where bad news travels at lightning speed.

April 12, 19, 26, & May 3
Thursday, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Christian Food Fights: Christian Battles over Graham Crackers, Apples, Juice, and More
Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the  Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University

Food is more than fuel. It is one of the most powerful expressions of identity for both individuals and groups. It communicates values, it is used symbolically, and it marks social and theological boundaries. Dr. Craig Wansink will lead us into his research to see how food and food prohibitions have shaped not just Christianity but also each of us, in ways we may not have ever noticed.

April 12 The Most Famous Christian Meal: The Last Supper, the Moon Landing, Gluten, and          
Cannibalism
April 19  Forbidden Foods: Christian Prohibitions and the Seven Deadly Sins
April 26  Faithfulness through Corn Flakes, Graham Crackers, Fasting, and Vegetarianism
May 3     Deeper Religious Identity through Food

April 12, 19, 26, & May 3
Thursday, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Christian Food Fights: Christian Battles over Graham Crackers, Apples, Juice, and More
Dr. Craig Wansink, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the  Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University

Food is more than fuel. It is one of the most powerful expressions of identity for both individuals and groups. It communicates values, it is used symbolically, and it marks social and theological boundaries. Dr. Craig Wansink will lead us into his research to see how food and food prohibitions have shaped not just Christianity but also each of us, in ways we may not have ever noticed.

April 12 The Most Famous Christian Meal: The Last Supper, the Moon Landing, Gluten, and          
Cannibalism
April 19  Forbidden Foods: Christian Prohibitions and the Seven Deadly Sins
April 26  Faithfulness through Corn Flakes, Graham Crackers, Fasting, and Vegetarianism
May 3     Deeper Religious Identity through Food