Friday, February 04, 2005

The power of a syllabus

A faint memory came back to me this morning. I was searching for comments on Samuel Well's book, Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics (Brazos, 2004), and came across a syllabus for an ethics class taught by Dennis L. Durst, M.Div., Ph.D at Kentucky Christian University. This is a fine syllabus, and I remember receiving these in seminary (Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis) and how it would set me on a course of discovery.

I'm reliving this morning those moments of quiet reflection and those bursts of amazement that I couldn't wait to share with my fellow students on that lonely two-hour road between Searcy and Memphis. I'd always try to get those books on the syllabus from a used book store and sometimes could but most times couldn't. Each book led me to another and a well-chosen paper topic--which I found out the hard way is best chosen with the teacher's blessing and direction in a planned office appointment early on . . . I used to consider this goofy apple polishing but after a C and a D on a paper thought perhaps I'd better learn the difference between shining apples and humbling myself before a person who was the best person in the world right then to direct my studies.

So, with that little memory, I want to share this link with you. May it create in you the same effect that syllabi (that's a geeky correct grad school way of saying syllabuses) had on me in grad school . . . like a ticket to a passage way into a whole new world, one book and idea deserving and craving and leading to another . . . and ultimately and intentionally closer to God and shaped by His word and into His image.

Dr. Durst's syllabus


At 6:21 AM, Blogger EvanRC said...

Appendix A is a great read. Thanks for the link.
Ron Cutsinger

At 6:22 AM, Blogger EvanRC said...

Appendix A is a great read. Thanks for the link.
Ron Cutsinger

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Anne-Geri' said...

"5) Be able to appreciate the role of ethical exemplars in shaping the moral imagination, and the role of improvisation in the drama of Christian ethics, evaluated through small group discussions and a film analysis."

The drama of Christian ethics -- heh. No joke there.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Anne-Geri' said...

When I was in grad school I had a manilla folder for every class syllabus and notes from that class. On the front I would write down every last book the professor even MENTIONED in class. If he or she didn't know the author or remember the title completely, I would find out within an hour after class. Then, I'd make sure the book was in my library, read as well (of course). I would also keep every syllabus and take notes as if I were going to teach the class myself someday. I am SUCH a geek.

I wonder if that's ethical....hmmmmm


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