People tend to think of their daily decision of what to eat as a matter of personal taste, but is it? In this course, students explore how food choices affect (and are affected by) food systems that have profound implications for public and environmental health, social justice, and community. By examining the social identity, ecological, and spiritual dimensions, students develop a rich interdisciplinary understanding of the act of eating. They also learn how to prepare, preserve, and enjoy wholesome foods. Field trips, team exploratories, readings, class discussions, and hands-on activities highlight options for eating well, promoting food justice, and reducing climate change. Grades are based on the quality of reflective writing, a team presentation, and a final exam. D. Koetje & M. Loyd Paige. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
HNRS 150 B Grand Rapids: Race and Place. This course examines the role of race and racism in Grand Rapids from the creation of the city to the current historical moment. According to data from the 2010 census, Grand Rapids was the 26th most black/white segregated major metropolitan area in the nation, and the 23rd most Latinx/white segregated. How did that segregation develop? What maintains it? In 2015 Grand Rapids was ranked by Forbes as one of the worst cities for African-Americans economically, but in a separate piece Forbes ranked Grand Rapids the best city in the nation to raise a family in. How can this be? In addition to readings and lectures, this course looks to activists, religious leaders, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and the business community to inform our understanding of this place. An experiential approach to learning about Grand Rapids offers students the opportunity to both explore the city and wrestle with its history and identity, including the role of Calvin College. Race and racism will be examined through the lens of biblical justice. M. Pelz & J. Kuilema. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 A – MAY, 2020 Who in the World Am I? … Literally. This course will focus on learning about yourself within the context of beautiful Puerto Rico. The course will be especially relevant for those entering the helping professions in which it is imperative to know yourself in order to care well for others and to engage in a healthy and sustainable way in God’s Kingdom work. Six weekly on-campus meetings, starting after Spring Break, are required. The group will travel to Puerto Rico from May 22 to June 5 experiencing both rural and urban settings in order to develop self-awareness as well as to explore internal dissonance within a challenging cross-cultural context. Students will discover their own capacity and resilience with the goal of seeing themselves as valuable and with unique gifts, but under the reign of Christ. Students will explore how pursuing a relationship with God cultivates the desire to learn more about others, the world and oneself so they become more aware of His purpose for them in this world and can live wholeheartedly into their calling. The learning will be accomplished through personality profiles (such as Enneagram, Strengths Finder, DISC, spiritual gifts inventory), personal development plans, group processing and discussions, oral presentations, journaling, reading and engagement in cross-cultural activities and experiences. Daily excursions will include trips to such places as Bioluminescent Bay, waterfalls, caves, the jungle, and the ocean. This course will meet the DCM and CCE requirements. Ability to speak Spanish is beneficial but not a requirement. Course Dates: May 22 – June 5. Fee: $2,200. S. Rodriguez, S. Hoeksema. Off Campus.
IDIS 150 01 DCM: Mathematics and Beauty. Many mathematicians find aesthetic pleasure in their work and in mathematics more generally. Bertrand Russell said "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty" and G.H. Hardy said "Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics." Some have connected their appreciation for mathematics with their understanding of God. Galileo is reported to have said, "Mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe." Even Paul Erdos, though an agnostic, spoke of an imaginary book, in which God has written down all the most beautiful mathematical proofs. This course will survey beautiful topics from number theory, geometry, and analysis alongside the religious and mathematical perspectives of people working in these fields. M. Bolt. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 02 DCM: Considering the Evidence. People use data (big and small, but especially big) to gain insight about the world and make decisions. Evidence-based practices and decision-making are becoming the standard to justify choices and actions by individuals, schools, businesses, governments. But how does the process of learning from data happen, how can it go wrong, and how might a Reformed Christian engage with it? This course fulfills the DCM core; readings common to IDIS 150 sketch out biblical themes and help students begin to formulate a Reformed Christian frame of reference. The course will also introduce students to applied data-analysis techniques to measure relationships, estimate uncertainty, and classify observations, all from a statistical perspective. Students will consider data analysis (hands-on in-class practicals and real-world case-studies) in light of DCM readings to gain additional perspective on themes of justice, truth, and revelation. Previous experience with statistics and/or computer programming is welcome but not required. S. De Ruiter. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 03 DCM: Constructive Communication in a Divisive Culture. We live in a culture where division is deepening and our ability to connect and converse across those divisions seems to be weakening. This class will consider dialogue as a practice that can help us constructively engage important issues with those who hold different views. Dialogic communication emphasizes listening and inquiry in order to foster mutual respect, understanding, and authentic relationships. Students will learn about and practice dialogue as they grapple with controversial issues. Christian perspectives on both dialogue and disagreement will be explored. Class assignments will include readings, daily writing assignments, papers, participation, and a final exam. Class activities will include experiential learning, discussion, exercises, simulation and role playing, facilitation practice, small group work, and an overnight class retreat. Fee: $30. S. Wieland. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 04 DCM: Generation Z and the Church: Cause for Concern or Reason for Hope? Gen Z (a.k.a. Digital Natives, iGen, or Post-Millennials) is the youngest generation, yet it is making a huge impact on our culture and changing the course of politics, economics, and education. This generation’s presence, as well as its absence, is forcing the Church to think strategically about its Biblical mandate to pass on its faith to future generations. Through the lens of Generational Theory, this class will review the historical and sociological factors that have shaped generations, including the differences and similarities present across cultural and socio-economical lines. The spiritual profile of the multiple generations that are present in our churches will be surveyed. Through discussions with pastors, church visits and case studies, the impact of generational demands for community, as well as GenZ’s demand for diversity, flexibility, and innovation upon congregational life and worship will be explored. Students will develop an understanding of unique characteristics of faith development for each generation, as well as best ministry practices addressing these issues. Evaluation for this course will be based on participation, reflection papers, a presentation and an exam. L. Elliot. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 05 DCM: All About Plants. Plants are absolutely essential for supporting the lives of people and almost all other life forms on earth. We benefit from the contributions that plants make in providing food, drink, medicine, building materials, and a host of environmental services like improving air quality, capturing storm water, soaking up carbon, and supporting beneficial insects and birds. Across all cultures, plants have also held significant ritualistic and spiritual meaning. In this course we will explore many of these themes with an emphasis on participatory learning that will utilize the campus greenhouses, herbarium, and field trips to nearby off campus sites. This activity-rich course is open to all students but may be especially valuable to education majors as many of our class activities will be amenable for use in elementary, middle, or high school settings. Students who take this class will learn how to better care for house plants, learn the names of important local trees and shrubs, gain experience in greenhouse care, learn how to grow garden plants and in general develop a deeper appreciation for this amazing part of God's good creation. We will be making at least 2 field trips, one to Meijer Botanical Gardens and one to Lowell Township Park. D. Warners. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 06 DCM: Reading the Word and the World. Many educators regard Paulo Freire as one of the most influential educators of the 20th –and even now 21st—century for his contributions to literacy studies. His concept of reading the word and the world in particular has ushered in a view of literacy toward socio-cultural perspectives and away from cognitive/developmental ones. Such a paradigm shift has challenged the ways in which educators teach learners how to read basic alphanumeric texts in primary school and content area texts in such subjects as music, math, and Spanish at the secondary level. In this course, we will explore whether and how this concept of reading the word and the world is in harmony with a Reformed perspective. We will look at how the home, church, and social institutions into which each of us is born influence how we communicate and make sense of various academic language and texts we encounter in the K-12 schooling system. We will watch popular movies, tour local schools, engage in small and whole group discussions, participate in literacy activities such as read alouds, and write our way to a transformed understanding of a Christian perspective on reading the word and the world. How might Reformed theology inform our view of the literacy practices of learners? How does Reformed theology help us to assess and ultimately celebrate the ways in which each learner reads the word and the world? Fee $10. N. Westbrook. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 07 The unbearable lightness of economic decisions: Are we really rational? How do human beings make economic choices? How do they make economic choices in developing countries where any economic decision may involve substantial risk and uncertainty? Mainstream economics has assumed that human beings and their behavior are fundamentally rational. However, many studies in behavioral economics suggest that human psychology plays an important role in economic decisions, especially under uncertainty. These studies find that actual decisions people make are often seemingly irrational under the paradigm of the mainstream economics. Understanding our full humanity and the role of the human mind in economic decisions is important, as it helps to create better policies for the wellbeing of those who live in developing countries. This course will overview what we do know and what we don’t know about the human mind in the economic decisions of individuals living in underprivileged societies. Furthermore, it will extend the findings to Christian faith, seeking to explore the link between our full humanity and sovereignty of God through the lens of Christ. To this end, a significant portion of this course will also be allocated on inductive Bible study. Overall, this course will use lectures, class discussions, video clips, movies, and students’ project presentations. This course will also replicate some of the experiments behavioral economists used in class to test the assumptions of the standard economics theory. S. Lim. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 08 DCM: Black Girl Magic: Coming of Age Stories by Black Women. Black Girl Magic is a movement created in 2013 by CaShawn Thompson. According to Huffington Post Fashion Editor Julee Wilson, “Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about ourselves.” This movement is a response to the image and portrayals of Black women as counter popular images of “beauty and femininity,” according to a 2015 Los Angeles Times article. Former First Lady Michelle Obama stated in a speech in 2013, that Black girls have to hear “voices that tell you that you’re not good enough, that you have to look a certain way, act a certain way; that if you speak up, you’re too loud; if you step up to lead, you’re being bossy.” Thompson stated that she is inspired by Black women who persevere despite adversity. Achievements by Black women are like “magic.” This movement is one that seeks to highlight the inherent human dignity of Black girls and women. As a Developing the Christian Mind (DCM) course, “Black Girl Magic: Coming of Age Stories by Black Women” presents stories by Black women in the genre of Bildungsroman, or Coming of Age stories. These stories highlight the struggles, strength, and perseverance of Black girls and women despite societal challenges. Students will write a number of journals responding to readings with the opportunity to share their thoughts in class each day. E. Washington. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 09 DCM: Shouts and Whispers: The Intersection of Faith & Writing. This class invites you into a conversation about how faith and literature overlap, sometimes comfortably and sometimes uneasily—whether in the “shouts” of writers such as Flannery O’Connor or in the “whispers” of authors such as Frederick Buechner. It also invites you to think about what it means to be a faithful writer and a faithful reader today by investigating the writers who’ll be attending the 2020 Festival of Faith and Writing. And you’ll think about the larger project of the Festival itself—what it takes to balance many voices hospitably. J. Zwart. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 10 DCM: God Rested: Why Can’t You? Living a life in a 24/7 world, the notion of rest may come to our mind as an anachronism, a fantasy, or simply unimaginable. While we are created to worship God and rest in Him, we tend to worship our work, and rest in ourselves. These distortions affect our perceptions of ourselves, our relationships with others, and most importantly, our relationship with God. We may wonder, “Do I realize life while I live it, every, every minute?” This class will examine some of the personal and socio-cultural forces that drive us toward living restless life. In addition, this class will assist in developing a new perspective that will help rediscover leisure, work, and rest. Y. Lee. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 11 DCM: The Music of Joy. “It is a certain sound of joy without words, the expression of a mind poured forth in joy.” For St. Augustine, music—especially wordless singing—is a means through which joy becomes embodied in meaningful sound. This linkage of music and joy is deeply embedded in human culture from antiquity to the present day. And as for St. Augustine, such music is for many the expression of joy rooted in contemplation of God. But music can also trigger a response that is palpably similar to the experience of joy, that might be described as not only expressive of joy but an actual experience of joy itself. In this way it may produce what C. S. Lewis described as a “stab of joy:” an experience that may arise, unlooked-for, at any time and in any circumstances. Such experiences can produce an almost unbearable longing that finds its true object in Jesus Christ alone. Building on key passages in the Old and New Testaments, the task of this course is to assemble a framework for understanding joy and its relationship to the experience of music. Consideration is given to how joy emerges even in the midst of sorrow, and that the experience of joy can lead to compulsive behaviors and even idolatry. Musical examples include chants by Hildegard of Bingen and the polyphonic organum of the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and other classical composers, the progressive rock of Yes, the jazz of John Coltrane, and film scores by Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings) and Vangelis Papathanassiou (Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire). T. Steele. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 12 DCM: The Big Bang Theory. This course will be a scientific and historical account of the progression of humanity’s understanding of the physical universe, from ancient history to the present. Important discoveries will be highlighted along the way, with fundamental scientific concepts introduced as needed in order to provide a clear picture explaining the popularity of the big bang theory. In addition, students will explore the varying Christian perspectives on the big bang theory, seeking to understand some of the conflicting interpretive frameworks that can lead to disagreement over the theory’s plausibility and theological legitimacy. This is not a survey introduction to astronomy but will cover topics pertinent to understanding the big bang theory as a scientific model. It is designed to be accessible to anyone with a high school level education in science and a firm grasp of algebra. Student learning experiences will include short lectures complemented by group discussions and activities. J. Smolinksi. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 13 Prison Education, Outreach, and Re-Entry. What programs are available to help inmates grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually during their time in prison, as well as after they are released? What difference can these programs make for everyone involved? In this course, we’ll learn about prison programs across the country, devoting special attention to the Grand Rapids area and the Calvin Prison Initiative. Our guest speakers will include prison administrators, teachers, pastors, and community volunteers, as well as citizens who have returned from prison and are rebuilding their lives. Through their stories, we’ll develop a better understanding of important social issues such as trends in mass incarceration, the value of higher education in prison, and the challenges of re-entry. If you’ve read scriptural calls to care about prisoners and wondered, “What would that look like?” or “How could I do that?,” this course is an excellent starting point. It also lays a solid foundation for students who would like to serve as Calvin Prison Initiative tutors. The class will include an optional visit to Richard J. Handlon correctional facility in Ionia, to participate in a class discussion with CPI students. Participation in this trip is encouraged, but not required. This course is open ONLY to transfer students. Fee: $25.00. K. Benedict. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 14 DCM: Movies and Music: Theological Themes. This course examines the expression of theological themes in select musical works and films. Compositions studied include works by Haydn (The Creation), Bach (St. John Passion), and Mozart (Requiem). Films analyzed include Babette’s Feast, The Mission, The Seventh Seal, and Amadeus. Where possible, the relevant libretto or screenplay is read prior to listening to or viewing the work in question. Prerequisites: interest in theology, the arts, and their intersection; readiness to listen carefully and watch discerningly; and willingness to engage in discussion. Students will: 1) acquire a knowledge of select theological themes 2) become acquainted with certain sacred compositions (and their composers) 3) enhance their listening skills 4) become acquainted with certain films (and their directors) 5) advance their skills in film analysis 6) exercise their skills in discussion and oral presentation. Students will be required to do readings, keep a journal, write a paper, engage in discussion, and participate in a final exam. R. Plantinga. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 15 DCM: Seeing Photographs. Why do we take photographs? How do we take them? Are there times when we should put our cameras and smartphones away? How should be think, as Christians, about photography? This class will ask us to become more intentional about the photos we take and more discerning about the photos we view. We will learn to become more imaginative in how we think about and produce photos. Readings and image presentations will inform class discussions, written reflections and photo production assignments form the majority of course work. A smartphone and Instagram account are required. $50 materials fee. J. Hoag. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 16 DCM: Ethics in the Digital Age. This course will address ethical questions that are raised by the ever-increasing introduction of digital technology into our lives. We will use philosophical texts as well as the guiding principles of the reformed tradition to explore how we can best respond to the moral challenges posed by our growing-reliance on digital technology. Some questions that we will consider in this course include: How can we distinguish virtuous uses of social media from vicious uses of social media? When (if ever) is genetic engineering morally permissible? How can we best respect life when programming self-driving cars and other automated machines? What are the moral restrictions on artificial intelligence? How does the reformed tradition, in particular, challenge us to conduct our lives as denizens of the Internet? Class meetings will proceed primarily through collaborative discussion. Therefore, regular participation and careful reading of assigned texts will be a required component of the course. This course would serve as a good introduction to philosophical thought for students who have not yet taken any philosophy courses, and it would also be a fruitful opportunity for students who have already been exposed to philosophy to sharpen their philosophical skills. L. Brainard. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 17 DCM: Kicks, Rides, and Digs: The Minutiae and Metanarrative of Environments. When you sit down on the first day of class, your environment is screaming at you: the syllabus is in a serif font, your neighbor has on fly knit shoes, the seats all face the front of the room. Each of these tiny choices shapes how you interact with what you read, who you talk to, and what you wear tomorrow. To be an effective agent of renewal in the world, it is important to understand how your environment impacts you and learn how to inform these interactions for others. Design thinking requires all to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of creating or consuming something. It encourages one to have a broad perspective, to search for solutions in unusual places, and to develop an articulate process of exploration. Utilizing discussion, critiques, lecture, group presentations, design briefs, and object creation, students will examine design practices, debate the merits and pitfalls of design consequences, and develop a vocabulary surrounding design thinking and the objects that surround them daily. Open ONLY to students in the Artists Collaborative. B. Williams. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 18 DCM: Disability, Community, and Inclusion. This course will explore the history, nature, kinds, and social dynamics of disability. Two interconnected foci of the course will be (i) how individuals with disabilities have been regularly and systematically excluded from their communities, and (ii) how the inclusion of individuals in a community is good for the community itself. The course will thus involve critical reflection on what our practices reflect about our default understanding of community and how we should revise what community ought to be like. This course is open to all students who wish to explore society's and their own perspectives and responses to individuals who live with disabilities. Course requirements include readings, discussions, lectures, and media. K. Timpe. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 19 DCM: Fizzy, Fermented and Funky: Exploring Live Culture Real Foods. Typically, we try to avoid exposure to microorganisms whenever we can – equating them with sickness and disease. But do you enjoy Cheese? Chocolate? Coffee? Kefir? Kombucha? Yogurt? Sourdough bread? Or, if you are of age, a taste of wine or sip of beer? All of these foods and many more owe their very existence to microorganisms! The microorganisms transform the food, preserving it, enhancing its flavor and nutritional benefits – true “real food.” In this course we will investigate how humans have harnessed microorganisms to make these foods by making these foods ourselves. Students will dig into the diversity of microorganisms used in making them, the nuanced metabolic processes that lend each food its particular flavor and health benefits, and how changes in microbe community structure and function over time participates in the development of flavor and texture. Additionally, the rich cultural values and societal impacts associated with the long history of many of these foods will be discussed and compared with mass production and artificial additives that dominate today’s market. Students will perform hypothesis-driven experiments using different microorganisms, components, and preparation methods to create their own unique live culture real food. These lab activities will be supplemented by guided visits to West Michigan companies producing some of these foods. Science and non-science majors are welcome; a science background is not assumed. Evaluation will take place through design and leadership of food-making experiments, several presentations exploring microbial, cultural and historical aspects of the food, and a notebook which documents laboratory activities. A course fee of $65 will be assessed to cover supplies and field trip expenses. J. Wertz. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 20 Trail Blazing: Navigating College as a First-Generation College Student. Are you blazing a trail in college? Are you a first-generation student? First-generation students (i.e. students for whom neither of their parents graduated from a four-year institution) bring a unique set of gifts and face a unique set of challenges as they transition to life at and beyond university. This course examines your story and others, research about first-generation college students, and the skills needed in and beyond college (e.g. resume building, networking, finance). And, we’ll engage guiding principles of the Reformed Christian tradition to frame our exploration. Through interviews, readings, discussions, presentations, panels, meals out, and other practices we will seek to better understand the unique experience of first-generation students, tell our own stories, and develop resources to support future students transitioning to Calvin. Preference given to first-generation college students. K. Heys. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 21 DCM: Faith and Sport. This course will look at sport in our society through the lens of Christianity including how and why a Christian should play, spectate, and parent young athletes. Topics include youth sport, race and gender in sport, sport in the educational system, coaching, and leadership. Course methods will include lecture, discussion, film, research, an interview with a current coach, observation and reflection of an athletic contest, and readings and quizzes. K. Vande Streek. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 22 DCM: Anthropology, Anime and Globalization. The distinctly Japanese entertainment industry of anime is a worldwide phenomenon. The interim considers anime as a culturally specific product consumed in disparate cultural contexts. The interim begins with a study of the origins of and cultural significance through time of anime in Japan. Through this study, the interim considers anime as both reflective of larger Japanese cultural elements as well as anime as an active agent of cultural change in Japan. Beyond studying anime as a cultural force in Japan, the interim also considers how anime is consumed globally in diverse cultural systems. By looking at anime through this lens, the interim affords the study of cultural integrity in the face of globalization. T. Vandenberg. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 23 DCM: How To Live a Good Life. Everyone wants to live a good life, but most people fall short. How can we do better? How can we live lives that exude love, joy, and self-control? This course will cover both the science and practice of living a life of character and virtue. You’ll learn about how to stay motivated to do good, how to grow in your understanding of what goodness is, and how to actually follow the path of virtue. Though this course will include some traditional teaching, in order to become virtuous one must practice being virtuous, so there will also be a critical experiential component. B. Riek & P. Meindl. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 24 Language and Identity Online: The Virtual Kingdom of God. This course explores the interaction between identity and technology, with a focus on how language is used in order to construct, negotiate, and produce these identities in an online environment. We begin with an exploration of the history between man and machine. Using Sherry Turkle’s Life on the Screen: Identity in the age of the Internet as a guide, we look at the evolution of this relationship as boundaries blur and shift, asking questions like “what does it mean to think?” and ultimately “what does it mean to be alive?” The course proceeds to cover a broad range of computer-mediated human interactions, from chat rooms to MMOs to e-sports, adopting sociolinguistic and computer-mediated communication frameworks to examine how we use language to create and perform identities in virtual spaces. The goals of this course are to (1) Think deeply and critically about our relationships with and through computers. What are the differences, both positive and negative, afforded to us through medium specific traits of the internet like (perceived) anonymity and globalization (2) Learn about the role language plays both in creation and performance of identity online, and (3) Reflect on what it means to act as a Christian agent on renewal on the internet in 2020. This course will adopt a brutally honest, data-driven assessment of “internet culture” and its immense capacity to both divide and unify us. Students will choose a virtual community with which they are familiar and conduct a small ethnographic study on it, using both quantitative and observational techniques learned in class. Evaluations will be based on readings, journal entries, class discussions, and a short presentation of this ethnography project. No prior experience required. R. Burkholder. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 25 DCM: Dramatic Families: Dreams, Dysfunctions, and Occasional Solutions in Shakespeare and Modern Drama. This DCM section will study a number of plays featuring families suffering from maladies such as death, abandonment, and betrayal; these same families have members who each have their own dreams, desires, and aspirations. We will ask questions such as these: How do these families differ from what might be considered God’s design for families? What has brought about these problematic situations? How do characters’ dreams seek to rise above the dysfunction? How are they the cause of it? How is redemptive hope present (or absent) in the different families? How is all of this relevant to our own lives? How can the study of such material glorify God, draw us closer to Him and others as we become increasingly conformed to His image, and help advance His Kingdom? We will study Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Ibsen’s A Doll House, Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, as well as Plantinga’s Engaging God’s World. Students will have the opportunity to view video productions of the plays. Evaluation includes quizzes on each play and on Engaging God’s World, several short integrative essays, a final take-home exam, class participation. D. Urban. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 26 Peaceable Kingdom: Transforming Our Relationships with Animals. Though stewardship of the animal kingdom is one of the primary responsibilities accorded to human beings in the Christian creation narrative, the question of how best to respect the creatures under our care is one that Christians too often neglect to ask. This omission is unfortunate, given the mounting evidence of fallenness in the social and commercial practices that presently govern our relationships to animals. While large-scale animal farming has increased consumer convenience, this convenience comes at a cost, and not just to animals. Our current food system is also proving to have negative, if unintended, consequences for the environment, local and global commerce and agriculture in both rural and urban communities, and public health. In view of these considerations, the purpose of this course is two-fold: first, to gain insight into the problem through a survey of the theological, moral, environmental, and socio-economic issues surrounding the treatment of animals and the allocation of natural and human resources by our current food system and other industries that use animals; and second, to take the initial steps toward becoming agents of renewal by discerning an array of concrete approaches to addressing these problems (e.g., legislating for less intensive, more sustainable food systems, community supported agriculture, cooking and eating lower on the food chain, exploring “locavorism,” urban farming and growing, vegetarianism and veganism, animal compassion advocacy, etc.). Students will be evaluated on the basis of their written responses to four reading-engagement assignments, a final position paper, and an exam, as well as on their participation in class discussion and events. M. Halteman. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 27 DCM: Technophobia: The Fear of Technology in American Fiction. This course examines American fiction (film, TV, short stories, novels) as an index of people’s fears about technology. Students investigate the sources, contours, reasonableness, and possible effects of the technological fears expressed in fiction. The course will give special attention to deep-seated fears related to what it means to be human. Students will engage in class discussion, short group projects, analysis of film & TV, creative writing, and reflection on all readings and viewings. G. Pauley. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 28 Approaches to Contemporary Art and Cinema. This course examines the significance of painting, sculpture, and cinema in contemporary culture. Although the course will address the production of visual imagery and screen narratives, the primary focus will be on issues related to reception and evaluation. Students will examine a variety of issues concerning the ethical evaluation and aesthetic judgment of sculptures, pictures, and films. To this end, matters associated with the meaning of place, with various capacities and limitations of different media, and with the expectations of various audiences will be addressed. Questions regarding the transformation of styles, the historical alteration of meaning, and the cultural politics of the arts will be discussed. Throughout the course, students will be confronted with convergences and conflicts as they relate to visual, aural, and verbal modes of communication. More importantly, they will be regularly be asked to face the ways in which faith and artistic appreciation inform one another. Coursework will include class discussions, assigned readings, a daily journal, and a final exam. To foster a deeper understanding of contemporary art and cinema and their cultural significance, students will be expected to participate in three field trips, a guided tour of the Detroit Institute of Art, with special attention to its permanent exhibition of late twentieth- and early twenty-first century art; a guided visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, focusing on the institution’s operational and installation policies; and attendance at the Grand Rapids premiere of Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, followed by a discussion of the film with producer Josh Jeter. A student fee of $100.00 will be added to cover the costs associated with these excursions. H. Luttikhuizen & C. Plantinga. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.