The Honors Core is one part of the larger Honors Program at Luther. It provides a set of interdisciplinary courses for students after their first year. Its specific 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 challenging courses will examine the major conceptual developments that have shaped the modern world. Students will typically take these courses in their sophomore and junior years; each course will also fulfill one of the “Fields of Inquiry” requirements for graduation.
The Four-Course Sequence
Honors 210: The Ancient World. This course examines major intellectual movements of antiquity. It investigates key ideas and texts, including literary and artistic expression, in areas such as the flowering Greco-Roman philosophy, mathematics and astronomy in ancient Greece, Rome, and Africa, the contemporary blossoming of Buddhist, Confucian, and classical Hindu thought, and the cosmologies of ancient civilizations of the Americas. (HEPT)
Honors 220: From Ancient to Modern: Transitions and Encounters. This course examines intellectual developments between antiquity and the beginnings of the modern period. It explores such developments as the attempt to reconcile Christianity with ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, the rise of Islamic thought, new intellectual movements in South and East Asia, theological debates of the European Reformation, and encounters among peoples and cultures as a result of global exploration and migration. (HE)
Honors 310: Modernity: Social Thought. This course examines key turning points in the development of social thought from the Enlightenment to the present. It focuses on modern theories concerning issues such as toleration, the nation-state, colonialism, class struggle, and psychoanalysis, as well as postmodern developments in intercultural relations and theories of culture, gender, and power. (HB)
Honors 320: Modernity: Natural Sciences. This course examines major developments in the natural sciences from the scientific revolution onward. It investigates key issues on subjects such as cosmology, the growth of biological sciences and evolutionary theory, relativity and quantum mechanics, and computational science, with attention to social and cultural context and the social and ethical implications of these developments. (NWNL)
Application to Honors Core
Students must apply for admission to the core. The application process will be open to all students with a cumulative GPA of (typically) 3.0 or higher. Applications will be evaluated by the honors committee. Successful completion of all four courses will be noted on a transcript by the designation: “Completion of Honors Core.”
Please note: The first two courses, Honors 210 (The Ancient World) and HONR 220 (From Ancient to Modern: Transitions and Encounters) will not be offered during the 2012-2013 academic year. Students interested in beginning the Honors Core sequence need not submit application at this time. The program will be in contact with interested students about options for the coming year.