1. Course Philosophy
Participants in the program are encouraged to explore the human search for meaning using the resources of personal inquiry and significant spiritual traditions. In order for the search to be truly meaningful, it must be connected to the individual’s personal inquiry. For adolescents, relationships are where they often seek and find meaning in their lives.
Their relationship to the world around them is often shaped by television, peers, music, etc. From these and other sources, they will build relationships which may be life-denying, while at other times, be life-saving. Regardless, they will continue to search for ways which will bring them into closer relationship with the self, others, and God.
By the end of this course students will be required to present their philosophy of life. To accomplish this they are required to analyze written and audio/visual material. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the material and to use it to form a personal philosophy.
The formation of a Christian philosophy is based upon the concept that life is graciousness. Christ reveals life’s goodness to us.
2. General Outcomes/Themes
The student will:
- Examine spirituality in a variety of world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Judaism, Islam)
- Examine some philosophical building blocks for ethics and morality (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle)
- Understand the impact of revelation and sacred scripture upon ethics and morality (St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Aquinas)
- Understand themselves as moral persons (Focus Questions on The Human Condition)
- Acknowledge the spiritual dimension of relationships (ie. What does it mean to “live with the Spirit”?)
A person’s relationship with God is a matter of conscience, the internal forum of the soul. God alone is the arbiter of souls (and then again, who can plumb the depths of Divine Mercy?). It is important, therefore, that we avoid the grading or evaluation of a student’s faith.
We grade the knowledge the student has acquired based on the program of studies and the skills the student is able to show in articulating his/her knowledge.
A wide range of assessment information is used in the development of a student’s final grade. Individualized assessments provide specific information regarding student progress and overall performance in class. Student assessment may vary from student to student to adapt to differences in student needs, learning styles, preferences, and paces. Not all assignments are used for assessment.
Course Work and Evaluation
Unit 1 37.5% Determined from marks collected from course beginning to 1st report card cut-off
Unit 2 37.5% Determined from marks collected from 1st report card cut-off to final exam.
- Comparative World Religions: 25%
- Course work: 50% (may include assignments, presentations, journals, reviews, notes, research projects, portfolios, exams and quizzes)
- Final Examination: 25%
4. Primary Resources
Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
In Search of the Good: A Catholic Understanding of Moral Living, Concacan, CCCB, Ottawa, Ontario, 2004
World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, Jeffrey Brodd, St. Mary’s Press, Christian Brothers Publishers, Winona, Minn. 1998.
- The Bible (NRSV). Also at http://bible.oremus.org/ Various translations of the Bible can be found at http://www.biblegateway.com/
- Catechism of the Catholic Church (Second Edition). Doubleday. 1997.
- Complete online text for Catechism of the Catholic Church http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
- The Documents of Vatican II. Full text search engine can be found at: http://www.stjosef.at/council/search/
- http://thesocialedge.com A monthly online social justice and faith magazine containing articles, columns, commentary, editorials, book reviews, and interviews usually not found in mainstream news media.
- National Catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org. An independent American Catholic weekly, this newspaper offers selected articles from back issues online.