This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
What is conversion? How have famous converts throughout history turned their minds and hearts toward God? In what ways do we resist conversion? How can learning about the process of conversion better prepare each of us to receive grace into our lives? In this course, we will look at “turning toward the truth” from Plato to famous converts of the 21st century.
Conversion is at the center of Christ’s call to each of us. It is a lifelong process that begins when we turn toward our Lord and away from sin, but it is an ongoing process, one that is renewed each day, and that requires a lifetime of humility and struggle. And yet we hear very little about conversion in the modern Church, about repenting and seeking the grace of sanctification, of being made holy, of approaching perfection or “maturity in Christ.” What is the essence of conversion and how can we live it out? We will examine the literature of conversion in this class – using examples from Scripture (especially St. Paul), from Greek philosophy, from St. Augustine’s Confessions, along with more modern works on conversion, including the story of JRR Tolkien’s role in the conversion of C.S. Lewis.
Class One: Introduction
Class Two: Conversion in Plato: Turning toward Truth
Class Three: Encountering God in the Old Testament
Class Four: Conversion in the New Testament: St. Paul
Class Five: Roadblocks to Conversion, including “immaturity in Christ”
Class Six: Selections from St. Augustine’s Confessions
Class Seven: Conversion in the Middle Ages: St. Francis of Assisi
Class Eight: Conversion in the Modern Age: Bl. Dominic Barberri and St. John Henry Newman
Class Nine: Conversion in the New World: Orestes Brownson’s The Convert
Class Ten: The Problem of Evil and Suffering: Siegfried Sassoon and War
Class Eleven: Inversion: C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien
Class Twelve: Conversion in Modern Literature – the play The Call and others
Class Thirteen: Review and Conclusion
Course materials: Provided FREE by the instructor as PDFs and videos.
Homework: Plan on between one and three hours of homework each week, mostly reading and reflecting. This course will feature occasional quizzes and frequent submissions of questions for the instructor on Moodle.
Class dates: Wednesdays, January 10 to April 17. No class February 14 (Ash Wednesday) or March 27 (Holy Week).
Starting time: 10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central; 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)
Duration per class: 55 minutes