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教學大綱


本頁翻譯進度

燈號說明

審定:無
翻譯:蕭維中(簡介並寄信)、王晶(簡介並寄信)
編輯:朱學(簡介並寄信)

教學大綱

本課程將介紹給學生一些文學性、哲學性、或宗教性創作,它們被視為詮譯宇宙的本質和人類處境的來源,直到今天,仍是構成西方文化觀點的基礎。本課會特別深入的探究兩個廣大主題中的創作:古希臘的創作,以及有關基督與猶太教所共享的傳統,後者與古代的傳統作品有所出入,並且在很多方面上與之抗衡。我們將由荷馬(Homer)返回家園為題材的史詩《奧德賽》(The Odyssey)開始,接著探討伊思奇勒斯(Aeschylus)磅礡的戲劇三部曲《奧瑞斯提亞》(Orestia)。本劇把雅典式的正義來源戲劇化,讓我們一窺古希臘劇院(和現代歌劇早期的概念)的本質。索福克里斯(Sophocles)的悲劇《安蒂崗妮》(Antigone)《伊狄帕斯王》(Oedipus Rex),前者在十九世紀時被視為有史以來最重要的戲劇。幼里匹蒂斯(Euripides)的悲劇摘錄自歷史家修昔底德(Thucydides)的伯羅奔尼撒戰爭史中的片段,該戰使希臘的世界分裂成兩個陣營:雅典人和斯巴達人,就像冷戰期間美國以及俄羅斯蘇聯一般。最後,我們將探討柏拉圖(Plato)的《理想國》(Republic)和亞理斯多德(Aristotle)的《尼各馬科倫理學》(Nicomachean Ethics),兩個在歐洲世界系統性倫理學上創宗立派的作品。接著我們把注意力轉移到基督猶太教的作品:《創世紀》(The Book of Genesis)以及《馬太福音》(Gospel According to St. Matthew)。基督教早期教會的創始人聖奧古斯丁(St. Augustine)的作品《懺悔錄》(Confessions),記敘了他對於古典文化(古希臘、羅馬)精神上的否定以及重生為基督教徒的經過。最後,則是探討但丁•阿利格耶(Dante Alighieri)永垂不朽的《神曲》(Divine Comedy)三部曲中的一部,主要是關於詩人穿行過地獄的經過。但丁的作品是這個課程的最佳結束,因為該作品以文學的方式來表現中世紀人們試著把西方文化中多神教和基督教的傳承合而為一而做的努力。在我們的討論中,我們會研究世人稱這些作品為「經典」的原因,並在西方文化歷史不同的時間點上,從歷史、文學、知識、和倫理上的角度,探討「什麼是經典?」

這門課程每禮拜上課兩次,每次上課一個小時半。每堂課以長度各異的講課開始,接著是一般性地討論。主動而熱烈地討論是這門課程不可或缺的精神,而學生論說中的活力和說服力將明顯地影響學生成績。每個禮拜約有75頁的閱讀內容,有時多有時少。成績主要由課程中三份寫作作業的品質決定,這些作業平均地貫穿在學期之中,總共會有二十頁:前兩份作業至少要寫六頁,而最後一份作業則須至少八頁。各作業內容主要是課程的閱讀和討論的各面向。學生可以自行擬定主題,也可利用作業繳交日兩個禮拜前所發的多元化的主題清單。在第一份作業發回後,學生需要依照寫在上方的指示做修正,並繳回修正完成的作業,導師會根據改正內容,決定是否繳交再次訂正後的作業。課程也提供學生口頭表達的機會:(a) 討論安排 (b) 把學生分成幾個二至三人(視課程報名人數而定)小組,各組準備兩次十五分鐘的口頭報告,報告內容則根據指定的作業來討論,並遵照導師在學期開始時所指定的模式來進行。

這個課程每堂最多18人,但如果沒有分組,又有寫作助教參與的話,每堂課最多人數可能增加到25人。這課程將不會有期末考。


Course Format

This subject introduces the student to some of the literary, philosophical and religious texts which became major sources of assumption about the nature of the universe and mankind's place within it and which continue to underlie the characteristically Western sense of things to this day. In particular, the subject will study closely texts from two broad ranges of texts, those of ancient Greece and some major texts of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which rivals the tradition of the ancient world and in many ways contests with it. We begin with Homer's epic of home-coming, The Odyssey through Aeschylus's great trilogy of plays, The Orestia, which dramatizes the origin of Athenian justice and gives us a glimpse into the nature of ancient Greek theater (and also of the early modern conception of opera), two independent tragedies by Sophocles, the Antigone, widely regarded during the nineteenth century as the most important play ever written, and also the Oedipus Rex, one tragedy by Euripides, excerpts from the historian Thucydides's account of the great Peloponnesian War, which divided the ancient Greek world into two opposing camps, that of Athens and that of Sparta, in a manner not unlike the division between the United States and Soviet Russia during the period of the Cold War, and we conclude with examination of Plato's Repubic and excerpts from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the two founding texts of systematic ethical philosophy in the European world. We will then turn our attention to Judeo-Christian materials, the Book of Genesis and the Gospel according to St Matthew, and to a work of one of the early Fathers of the Christian church, St Augustine's Confessions, which recounts Augustine's spiritual rejection of classical culture and his rebirth as a Christian. The subject concludes by studying the first third of Dante Aleghieri's monumental Divine Comedy, the section dealing with the poet's journey through Hell. Dante's work is an apt conclusion, because it represents in literary form the medieval effort to unite the pagan and Christian heritages of Western civilization in a synthesis. In our discussions we will also examine the claims made in behalf of our texts that they are classics and we will explore some of the historical, literary, intellectual, and ethical significance that the question "what is a classic?" has had at different moments in the history of Western civilization.

The subject meets twice a week for two one-and-a-half sessions. Each session begins with a lecture of varying length, but changes over early into general discussion. Active participation in discussion is essential to the life of the class and the force and cogency of students' remarks will have a marked influence on grades. Readings will total approximately seventy-five pages a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Much of the grade will also depend upon the quality of the three written assignments required by the course, and spaced fairly evenly over the term: the papers will total twenty pages in entirety, two papers running to at least six pages each and a final paper running to at least eight pages. The papers will each deal with some aspect of the readings and discussion; topics may be invented by the students but an extensive list of suggested topics will be circulated two weeks in advance of each paper's due date for those students who require it. The first of these papers will be rewritten upon its return and resubmitted in a form complaint with corrections made by the instruction on the pages of the first version. The second paper may be treated in the same way, depending upon the instructor's judgment. The subject will also offer students opportunity for oral expression by reason of (a) its discussion format and (b) a division into groups of two or three students (depending upon enrollment), each of which will make two fifteen-minute presentations of materials conducive to the discussion of a given assignment, following the model of such presentations offered by the instructor at the outset of the term.

The maximum number of students per section of this subject is 18, except in cases where there are no sections and where a writing fellow is attached to the subject, in which case the enrollment can rise to 25. There will be no final examination.


 
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