The Scholars curriculum offers three kinds of seminars:
What have been some of the most momentous debates in human history, and how did they influence the lives of people both then and now? Why were these issues so controversial, and why did they matter so much to those involved? How have these debates changed the world—or have they? These first-year seminars will explore in depth one or more of these “great debates” (think evolution, geocentrism, empire, civil rights, and more) and their role in shaping how we see ourselves and the world. This course is open to all first-year students, but intended for those wanting to explore the Scholars Intersections program.
“Then and Now” courses take a historical and interdisciplinary approach to foundational topics in the liberal arts, focused on major questions that have emerged in the human quest for the common good. Their goal is to enrich students’ liberal arts education by helping them understand major crossroads in the development of human responses to questions about the natural world, human society, and ultimate meaning and values. These courses will examine the major conceptual developments that have shaped the modern world.
“The Human Quest” seminars engage students in examining the challenges of defining and realizing “the common good.” What do we mean by justice, by truth, by beauty, by freedom, by “good” (and more), and how can we bring knowledge from many disciplines and voices to bear on moving human society toward these goals? Each course focuses on one “ideal” or “idea”—a big concept in one word (signaling the simplicity yet complexity of the concept) that opens new worlds and possibilities for our shared future and our place in it. Human Quest seminars provide more focused study and reflection than the broader 200-level Intersections “Then and Now” courses. Although there is no specific prerequisite for this course, all work will require students to bring knowledge from various fields (their disciplines or interests) and to contribute their perspectives at a junior or senior level at Luther.
Seminar topics and themes will vary by instructor and semester. Check registration materials for section descriptions.