Lyceum class introduces students to theology, philosophy

Members+of+the+Lyceum+class+have+been+meeting+since+January+via+Zoom+to+discuss+philosophy%2C+theology%2C+and+classical+art.

Joseph Zuloaga '23

Members of the Lyceum class have been meeting since January via Zoom to discuss philosophy, theology, and classical art.

Ethan Vargas ‘23, Staff Reporter

            A unique new academic course is being offered to St. Francis Scholar students (and other non-SFS students who are interested in taking the course) at Riordan this semester. The Lyceum Course, an honors program, explores the great philosophers and thinkers, and gets students engaged in classical and sacred art. 

            President Dr. Andrew Currier described the need to incorporate foundational, classic philosophy as part of Catholic school programming to Dr. Richard Mani, MD, a devoted Catholic mosaic artist who does incredible work across the Archdiocese.  According to Dr. Currier, “Dr. Mani really liked that idea and gave Riordan funding to ensure that the program was launched.”

            The class focuses and revolves around three themes: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Dr. Currier said, “Our hope is that the students delve deeper into philosophical questions and build a conceptual understanding of goodness, truth, and beauty in nature and mathematics.”

            Students in the course will examine readings from Aristotle, Plato, and Pope John Paul II, for example, as well as works of art from Salvador Dali, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci, for example. The primary instructors for this course are Michael O’ Brien and Dr. Currier, along with guest speakers who address specific topics throughout the semester.

           The course is required for freshmen scholars and optional, but highly recommended, for the other grades. Classes began on Jan. 25, and meet in the evenings on Mondays. This semester, 30 students are enrolled in the course. 

            Dr. Currier stated, “Many of our students are demonstrating an exceptional affinity and appreciation for the philosophical texts in their homework assignments and participation in discussions.”

            The class prepares students for a strong foundation in Western Civilization and Roman Catholicism.

“In summary, we hope to encourage the students towards a sense of wonder for life’s big, philosophical questions.””

— Dr. Andrew Currier