Does God exist?
If so, who is He?
If He can be known, how can I know Him?
What does He require of me?
To affirm or deny the existence of God carries with it more consequences for thought and action than any other question one can ask. Because of the extreme importance of this topic, no Great Books study would be complete without an exploration of it
As you work through the material in this course, you will consider the views of a variety of authors who lived in a variety of cultures at different times in history. Your conclusion to the primary question of God’s existence as well as issues that naturally follow: the question of divine nature and the relation of the world/man to the gods/God will profoundly influence your conception of the world in which you live, the position you occupy in it, and the life to which you are called.
Whether you and others consider man to be the supreme being of the universe, equal to all other "things" on the earth, or subservient to a superior being, will surely shape your worldview. For example, if God does exist, you need to conclude whether He is to be feared or loved. Is He to be defied or obeyed? Is He merely a concept in your mind or is He personal?
Whether you exclude or embrace a divine being will practically influence your view of man and the world around you. While we have not specifically focused on the idea of man in this course, it follows naturally that what you learn and come to believe about the questions that surround a study of God, will shape your understanding and actions related to man and the world. Keep this in mind as you study this year. Simply put the more we know of God, the more we know of ourselves and our responsibility in life and eternity.
Number of Credits: 2
Tuition: $325 (material costs extra)
Online-based course Tuition: $400
View a sample of the course outline.
View a sample of the online class course outline.
Great Ideas Through the Great Books: Level 1 (God and Man) Course
Note: Please select the items for the Great Ideas course as needed. This set is to make it easier for educators to quickly purchase all materials required for a level.
The Study of the Great Ideas Through the Great Books is written for students who typically would be in Grades 9 to 12 (14-18 years of age)…although gifted students a bit younger may benefit from this program depending on their skill set and needs. Scroll down and read the product description for information specific to Level I (God & Man).
Great Ideas Level 1 is an advanced TWO credit course covering topics common to English Literature, Composition, Religious Studies and Philosophy.
Obviously from the title of this level the student will take a look at what various cultures in different time periods have written about the idea of God. Virtually every thinking culture has grappled with fundamental questions such as:
- Does God exist?
- If so, who is He?
- If He can be known, how can I know Him?
- What does He require of me?
The point is that we need to be acquainted with these opposing views simply because each person will (eventually) come into contact with them in their reading, education, and vocation. It cannot be avoided. We have made no attempt to assign a Great Book for each school of thought concerning God. Instead the books were chosen to provide the student with a broad view of how western culture came to understand who God is and what difference that makes. Students will quickly notice that some of the novels, short stories, and poems studied in this level might better be classified as being about man. Quite right! But, obviously, no study of God can escape application to what this means to man. It is hoped that all of the selections will bring edification and enjoyment to the student.
However, it is ultimately hoped that by completing the requirements that follow, you will have a more comprehensive understanding of what God isn’t, and, more importantly, that you will better know who He is. It’s not enough to just know about God. Each of us is called to know God as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word. May God direct and bless your studies.
Click here for a sample of the correspondence edition of the Student Manual for Level 1.
Click here for a sample of the on-line edition of the Student Manual for Level 1.