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Monday, July 6, 2009

Homeschooling Medieval Literature

Update: These live courses have concluded and are now available as recorded courses through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Online Catholic Courses

Dr. Henry Russell is scheduled to teach a series of literature courses for the Fall 2009 semester: Medieval Lessons for Modern Catholics. Each course in the series can be taken alone or consecutively.

Dr. Russell taught Beowulf and MacBeth this summer and his students loved it as well as learned a great deal. In fact, the email box is bulging with notes from students:
It was a great class, I loved having Dr. Russell as a teacher-also a huge thank you to Mrs. Wittmann :)

I have never really been interested in literature, but Dr.Russell has really helped me appreciate it a lot more.

It was a great course!

Dr. Russell had very interesting and insightful comments. I enjoyed the class very much.

I enjoyed the class very much! I also liked meeting other kids that might be going to the same college as me.

Excellent explanations and insights.
So, what are the fall classes Dr. Russell will be teaching? I'm so glad you asked because they are fabulous:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- Chivalry, Courtesy and Chastity
Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most elegant and merry tales of a heroic Catholic age. The fate of Gawain hangs upon his courtesy and his faithfulness to his word, even in the face of the immortal Green Knight who picks up his own head after Gawain has smitten it off. But what does the Green Knight stand for? Why is he so beautiful and happy and yet so fearsome to all? How can he be allowed in King Arthur’s court and in God’s Chapel? And why must the tale begin at Christmas but end on New Year’s Day?

The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer -- Trust God and Tradition
Chaucer was the master at making Catholic nobles laugh at the failings of others until they realized those characters were a bit too much like themselves. This great moralist, like a comic Dante, lets his characters boast and strut until they have convicted themselves out of their own mouths. Let him introduce you to the virtues and vices of his Canterbury Pilgrims and then see how Chaunticleer the Rooster teaches us about predestination and the Church of God. To read Chaucer well is to see how subtly the typological allegory can be constructed.

King Arthur and Christ -- Heroism and Holiness
King Arthur attempts to build the City of God on earth, as we all must. His noble and sinful knights rise far above themselves under his Catholic kingdom’s rule of chivalry. Their fall is also our fall. In Lancelot we will see the crucial role that holiness must play in any heroism, and find that holiness--both personal and of the nation--is the purpose for which heroism is made. Most editions of this tale have been drastically whitewashed by their modernizers to make it a tale of merely cardinal virtues or generic Christian sentiment. Some have gone so far as to warp it into the service of paganism and witchcraft. Yet the greatest knight in the world sees Jesus and ends as a monk.

To learn more, just click on the hyperlinks above. To register for a class, just scroll down and click on the Register button. Homeschool Connections takes Master Card and Visa. If you'd like to pay via check or Paypal please email Maureen Wittmann.

1 comment:

audrey said...
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