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Gutenberg College is a place for students who want to think deeply, learn in community, and grow in faith and character. At Preview Days, Gutenberg opens its doors to high school students and transfer students who are considering Gutenberg’s bachelor’s degree program in liberal arts. Please join us for Spring Preview Days.

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On April 20, John Hemmerich will give the eleventh talk in the series “It’s Complicated: The Histories Behind What We Think We Know.”

The Bible casts a long shadow over the history of the world. But the Bible is not just a single book; it’s a library of books. The Jewish Rabbinic Bible has only 24 books, but the Christian Bible contains many more: 66 (39 OT, 27 NT) in the Protestant Bible and 73 (46 OT, 27 NT) in the Catholic Bible. Adding to the confusion are the relatively recent discoveries in Israel and Egypt of the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back to the 2nd century B.C. and the Gnostic texts that date to early in the Christian era. So, who decided what books belong in the canon, when did they decide, and why? This class will attempt to pull back the curtain on the many questions surrounding the canon of the Bible, questions especially important for those who not only believe the Bible to be the authoritative standard for belief and practice but who also believe it to be the Book of books about the most real person in all reality.

John Hemmerich graduated from Gutenberg College in 2005 after writing a senior thesis on Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth that passed with distinction, and he now serves on the college’s board of governors. He also holds a juris doctor degree from Liberty University School of Law (2009), practices estate planning law in Portland, Oregon, and is working towards a master’s degree in biblical theological studies at Western Seminary. When not rummaging around in new and old texts, he enjoys spending time with his fiancée on the hiking trails of the great Northwest.

This class may be attended in person at Gutenberg College or online via Zoom. There is a small charge for remote attendance. Registration is required to attend via Zoom.

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“Life has never been normal,” wrote C. S. Lewis in an address to students at the outset of World War II. If we are waiting for a better time to pursue truth, goodness, and beauty, we may never get started. In the Young Philosophers series, Gutenberg College opens its (virtual) doors to high-school-age participants for thoughtful online discussion of important ideas.

What makes you think that we speak the same language? In this academic year’s final session of Young Philosophers, we turn our attention to the one thing that every philosophical discussion begins with: language itself. Is it just a bunch of arbitrary signs made up by people no wiser than we are? What, if anything, do abstractions like humanity refer to? Can two people ever really be sure that they are talking about the same thing? Join us as we consider questions like these alongside Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid with his “philosophy of common sense.”

Attendee Requirements: High-school age
Maximum Attendees: 12

 

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Chris Alderman

Leading this session of Young Philosophers will be Chris Alderman. Chris Alderman is a tutor at Gutenberg College, where he teaches writing, Greek, and German. Chris has self-published two collections of poetry, Poems in Verse and Ephemerides.

On May 18, Colin Stetter will give the thirteenth talk in the series “It’s Complicated: The Histories Behind What We Think We Know.”

The past 100 years has seen the rise of a variety of mass movements, promoting just as varied motives and goals. This class will explore Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer in an effort to understand what mass movements appeal to in the individual and what sort of person is especially attracted to mass movements. We will compare Hoffer’s ideas, a “bottom up” approach, to Orwell’s “top down” observations regarding the tools modern political structures employ to achieve mass obedience.

Colin Stetter graduated from Gutenberg College in 2004 after writing a senior thesis (passed with distinction) on Marx’s and Solzhenitsyn’s views on the nature of man. He currently works as a manual and cnc machinist for an independent job shop in Eugene. His interests include hiking, camping, high-speed tactical larping, reading the Bible, and science fiction. He is a practitioner of Filipino Kali, and is working on a theory of everything. So far he has resolved 742 things. He is married with two daughters.

This class may be attended in person at Gutenberg College or online via Zoom. There is a small charge for remote attendance. Registration is required to attend via Zoom.

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On June 1, Alexander Titus will give the fourteenth talk in the series “It’s Complicated: The Histories Behind What We Think We Know.”

Celebrated as a hero by some and maligned as a villain by others, Flavius Valerius Constantinus, often regarded as the “first Christian emperor,” represented a major shift in the history of Christianity, one which has resonated throughout the centuries. For students of this history, a person like Constantine naturally raises several questions: What was he really like? Was he really a Christian? How was he viewed by those who came after him? What impact did he have on official Church doctrine or on the Church’s relationship to the State? Why does he continue to be so controversial to this day? This class will examine the complex legacy of this pivotal yet polarizing figure.

Alexander Titus is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary, working in the areas of Byzantine and medieval Church history. He is in the final phases of completing his dissertation on Gregory Palamas’ early reception of the Corpus Dionysiacum. Alexander received a B.A. in Classics from the University of Oregon (2011), an M.A. in Theology (2015), and a Th.M. (2016), both from St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. His research and teaching interests are in intellectual and ecclesiastical history, the theology of prayer and mystical experience, and the implementation of Christian education within a classical framework.

This class may be attended in person at Gutenberg College or online via Zoom. There is a small charge for remote attendance. Registration is required to attend via Zoom.

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In Avengers: Infinity War, the fate of half the universe is at stake. Thanos is intent on making the world better by eliminating fifty percent of all living things. By contrast, Captain America will not achieve his goal by sacrificing even one. This contrast raises many questions. Is there some merit to what Thanos is doing, despite the fact that he is the villain? Should Captain America be a more flexible and realistic hero? What views of ethics underlie the diverging positions, and how should we think about these? In asking these questions, we must also keep in mind that Infinity War is not an ethical treatise, but a film. How, then, does the language of film work—how does it blend narrative, visual, and audio to present us with ideas and impact our thinking?

Join us for an online discussion on Thursday, June 30. Students should watch the entire film before class.

Attendee Requirements: High-school age
Maximum Attendees: 12

 

Register Here for Zoom Attendance

 

Eliot Grasso

Leading this session of Young Philosophers will be Dr. Eliot Grasso. Eliot is the vice president and a tutor at Gutenberg College where he teaches art seminars and leads discussions in Western Civilization and the Great Conversation. Eliot holds a B.A. in music from Goucher College, an M.A. in ethnomusicology from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

Since its beginning, a prominent aspect of Christianity has been the conversion narrative. Sometimes dramatic, sometimes mundane, these accounts tell the stories of how particular individuals committed their lives to Christ. For the 2022 Summer Institute, we will read several of these accounts from throughout history, and we will think about how these stories of particular people living in contexts that differ from our own might nevertheless impact our thinking now. What should we do with the inescapably personal aspects of these stories—can they still speak to someone who is considering Christianity? How can these stories provide encouragement to those who have been Christians for a while already? Is having a conversion experience necessary for being a Christian? Join us July 28-30 for discussions, talks, and food, as we contemplate together these stories of conversion.

Go here for more details.

Fundamentally, educating is the passing on of knowledge and values from one generation to the next to promote living wisely and well. As with all communication, however, the “how” of what we say impacts the “what.” A good educator is at root a good learner who models patient listening and skilled questioning. This year we will explore the “how” by focusing on the art of discussion, where teachers become fellow learners and, together with students, cultivate a life-long passion for truth and a life well lived.

Go here for details.

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Moana and Encanto are both beautifully animated movies with clever, catchy songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. They are a delight to watch and listen to. They also provide an opportunity to think about a central concept in contemporary society: identity. Does Moana’s identity come from her society or from the voice inside her? Should Mirabel and her sisters define themselves by something other than the expectations of their family? More generally, how does a movie aimed at children use story, images, and music to convey ideas, and are these movies offering helpful ways to think about who I am? (Warning: We may talk about Bruno.)

Young Philosophers is an online discussion for high-school-aged students. Join us for “Identity in Disney’s Moana and Encanto” on Thursday, September 15, from 4-6 p.m. Pacific time. The discussion will be led by Gutenberg tutor Brian Julian. Participants should watch both films before class.

 

Attendee Requirements: High-school age
Maximum Attendees: 12

More about Young Philosophers

 

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Brian Julian

Brian Julian joined the Gutenberg College faculty in 2021 after having taught philosophy and writing for several years at colleges in the Boston area. He holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Gutenberg College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University. He specializes in the history of philosophy and has published research on Aristotle. He writes (and cartoons) for Thinking in the Light, a website where he aims to make philosophical ideas accessible to a general audience.

Gutenberg College is a place for students who want to think deeply, learn in community, and grow in faith and character. At Preview Days, Gutenberg opens its doors to high school students and transfer students who are considering Gutenberg’s bachelor’s degree program in liberal arts. Please join us for Fall Preview Days.

Learn More about Preview Days.

 

Register Here for Fall Preview Days