Liberal Arts and Sciences Modules 2022-2023

Autumn Semester

Liberal Arts

  • Hermeneutics and Literature (3 US credits)
    Founded on classical, medieval and early modern ideas of Grammar, this modules surveys the development of the art of textual interpretation from the classical age, through the medieval era u to late modernism. Central texts will focus on philosophy, theology and literature from Plato, patristics, medieval Christian, Jewish and Islamic texts, Reformation interventions, and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics from Schleiermacher through to Strauss, Gadamer and Ricoeur.
  • Liberal Arts Seminar (3 US credits)
    In the Westfield House Liberal Arts seminar, faculty and students read and discuss texts drawn from different eras and disciplines within the humanities and sciences, including classic works in literature, philosophy, theology, economic and political science, and more. Each semester the set texts for study and discussion are gathered around a common theme. The seminar is complemented with smaller group preceptorials in which students address central questions arising from their close readings and engagement with the set texts.

Languages

  • Introduction to Classical Latin (3 US credits)
    This module provides an introduction to classical Latin, including pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, translation and syntax. The focus id directed towards developing the ability to read, comprehend and translate Latin.

Literature

  • British Science Fiction (3 US credits)
    This module surveys British science fiction with a focus on the analysis of both literary texts and cinematic productions and their relationship to British life and culture. The history and theory of the genre is engaged through the study of set texts and broad themes in the literary tradition such as Deep Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Evolution and Spirituality are investigated.
  • Shakespeare (3 US credits)
    This module engages students in close reading and interpretation of major Shakespearean plays, including representative texts of the histories, comedies, and tragedies. Emphasis is placed on major themes, social context, characterization and imagery, and contemporary interpretations.

Mathematics & Astronomy

  • Introduction to Astronomy (3 US credits + 1 lab-based credit)
    Following a brief historical introduction to astronomy, the module is organised into three topical sections. The first section introduces the basic physical principles of gravitation, electromagnetic radiation and spectra. Additionally, the tools and techniques of astronomical observation including telescopes, detectors, imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy are introduced. The second section involves the study of the Solar System, including the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, the Giant Planets, and outer regions. This section concludes with an introduction to contemporary research on the formation of the Solar System and exoplanet discoveries. The third section introduces stellar, and more briefly, galactic and extragalactic, astrophysics. Topics for study include nuclear fusion and stellar interiors, the observational characteristics and classification of stars, and the stellar life-cycle. This section concludes with a brief introduction to the Milky Way, the classification and characteristics of external galaxies, the evolution and distribution of galaxies and cosmology.
  • Introduction to Calculus for Liberal Arts (3 US credits)
    This module introduces differential and integral calculus with physical applications and transcendental functions throughout the course. An emphasis is placed on the historical role of calculus in the development of the natural sciences. Topics include limits and continuity, the derivative and its application, and an introduction to integration and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
  • Calculus II (3 US credits)
    This module continues the study of calculus with an emphasis on its historical role in the development of the natural sciences. Topics include techniques of integration, sums and sequences, Taylor series, parametric equations and polar coordinates and an introduction to vectors.

Music

Western Music: Cultures and Contexts (3 US credits)
This module gives a broad overview of Western music from the medieval era to the 20th century, with an emphasis on the late baroque, classical, romantic, and modernist styles (1700-1910). Students will develop listening skills and an understanding of diverse forms and genres. The focus of the module is on weekly listening and reading assignments.

Theology & Religious Studies

  • Christianity & the Arts (3 US credits)
    This interdisciplinary module considers how visual art, architecture and music have developed and been used in relation to Christian worship. Focusing on various dimensions of religious art and architecture – iconographic, didactic, institutional, communal, experiential and aesthetic – questions will be posed for students to research, taking advantage of the wealth of historical and contemporary Christian art, architecture and music throughout Great Britain. This module will involve numerous field trips to visit museums, art galleries, worship spaces and worship services in Cambridge and its environs, London and beyond. NB. This module will include an extra fee to cover the costs of field trips.
  • World Religions (3 US credits)
    This module examines several major non-Christian religious traditions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, in terms of their history, worldviews, beliefs and practices. Emphasis is placed on historical and geographical origins, later adaptations and developments, and methods of comparative analysis.

Spring Semester

Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts Seminar (3 US credits)
In the Westfield House Liberal Arts seminar, faculty and students read and discuss texts drawn from different eras and disciplines within the humanities and sciences, including classic works in literature, philosophy, theology, economic and political science, and more. Each semester the set texts for study and discussion are gathered around a common theme. The seminar is complemented with smaller group preceptorials in which students address central questions arising from their close readings and engagement with the set texts.

Literature

  • British Science Fiction (3 US credits)
    This module surveys British science fiction with a focus on the analysis of both literary texts and cinematic productions and their relationship to British life and culture. The history and theory of the genre is engaged through the study of set texts and broad themes in the literary tradition such as Deep Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Evolution and Spirituality are investigated.
  • Explorations in Literature (3 US credits)
    This module introduces a wide range of literary works which are central to the Western canon, ranging from ancient Greek texts in translation to the contemporary. The emphasis is on the reading and exploring of a diversity of primary texts and cultures. In addition to the set texts each student is required to select two additional works per semester for research and presentation in seminar.

Mathematics & Astronomy

  • Calculus III (3 US credits)
    This module completes the programme of study of calculus with an emphasis on its historical role in the development of the natural sciences. Topics include vector functions, multivariate calculus, multiple integrals, vector calculus and an introduction to differential equations.
  • Cosmology (3 US credits)
    This module surveys the changing conceptions of the universe from the ancient world to the current scientific paradigm, including special and general relativity, Hubble’s Law and the expansion of the Universe, the Big Bang and cosmic inflation, dark matter and dark energy. Emphasis will be placed on the ideas and philosophical issues which arise regarding the origin and fate of the Universe and humanity’s place within it.

Theology & Religious Studies

  • The Continental Reformation (3 US credits)
    This module surveys attempts at religious reform in continental Europe during the 16th century, which includes both reform of the Church and religious life, as well as reforms of society inspired by religious belief. Topics covered include later 15th century desire for reform; late medieval popular belief, and links between reform of social and religious life; Christian humanism and its influence; evangelical movements precipitated by Luther, Zwingli, the Anabaptists, and Calvin; the magisterial and radical Reformations along with their religious and social implications and the response of different social strata to them.
  • Science & Religion (3 US credits)
    This module introduces the interdisciplinary field of Science and Religion and is organised into two topical sections. The first section introduces the historical tensions and methodological differences between science and religion. Beginning with a discussion of the relationship between religion and science, often discussed in terms of models of conflict, independence, dialogue, and/or integration, several important events in the history of the relationship between science and religion are surveyed, concluding with an introduction to key themes in the philosophy of science and their relationship to theology. The second section of the module will extend the understanding of the relationship between science and religion by examining key areas of current scientific research as they relate to traditional theological concepts.

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