For the third year in a row, Response is featuring a specific text in the "SPU Canon." A key component of the new general education program called the Common Curriculum, the SPU Canon consists of works of literature, art, music and theatre that all students will study at Seattle Pacific University. The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis, is a classic work of Christian apologetics being taught in the junior-level Common Curriculum course "Belief, Morality and the Modern Mind." Professor Steve Layman, chair of the Philosophy Department, calls the challenging book a "must-read for every thoughtful Christian."
You are invited to join the SPU community in reading The Abolition of Man.
A full listing of the works in the SPU Canon are below. You'll also find a new Online Response Bulletin Board where interested readers can post questions to and receive answers from the faculty authors of Response articles on The Abolition of Man.
One of the aims of SPU's new Common Curriculum is to identify some works of literature, art, music and theatre that all students will study during the course of their college career. Many readers have asked Response to print a current list of the works included in the SPU Canon. By its nature, the list is not static; new items are being added as each new year of the Common Curriculum begins. The list below consists of works being studied in the freshman, sophomore and junior year courses of the Common Curriculum. You may want to consider adding these to your own study list!
Freshman, sophomore and junior year selections in the SPU Canon:
Books: The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis; The Battle of Beginnings by Del Ratzsch; The Bible; The Book of Common Prayer; The Chosen by Chaim Potok; Christian Doctrine by Shirley Guthrie; Devotional Classics by Richard Foster; "God in Communion With Us" in Freeing Theology by Catherine Lacugna; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass; Reason for the Hope Within, Michael J. Murray, ed.; Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe; To Love As God Loves by Roberta Bondi; Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace by Thomas Torrance.
Music: Amazing Grace, hymn by John Newton; And Can It Be, hymn by Charles Wesley; Be Thou My Vision, traditional Irish hymn; O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, hymn by Charles Wesley; O God, Our Help in Ages Past, hymn by Isaac Watts; Porgy and Bess, opera by George Gershwin.
Plays: Freshmen study the play being performed by the SPU Theatre Department in the quarter of their UCOR 1000 course. The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance (Winter 2001); Marvin's Room by Scott McPherson (Spring 1999); Royal Gambit by Hermann Gressieker (Spring 1999); The Royal Hunt of the Sun by Peter Shaffer (Winter 1999); The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder (Winter 1999); Translations by Brian Friel (Spring 2001).
Films: Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough; The Mission, directed by Roland Joffe.