My spring semester started last week, and once again I’m taking two classes (six credit hours). One is American Utopias, taught by the associate dean of the college of arts and letters, which traces the roots of utpoian/eutopian/outopian thought through American history. Topics covered include the Puritans, founding fathers, urban planning, and environmentalism. Should be an interesting class, but challenging: the only assignments are three book reviews and a 25-page paper. Yikes.
My second class is my “capstone” seminar class, which is the required course for those who choose to not do a master’s thesis. It’s pretty much a mini thesis scrunched into one semester. No required readings, but just a 25+ page paper good enough to be published in a journal. Double yikes.
I’m glad there is litte to no busy work this semester, but I’m also anticipating lots of work. I’ve sadly had to cut down my personal reading list this semester, and will add to it as I see fit. Both papers will be focused on megachurches (I think): uptopian themes for one, and megachurches still growing in the midst of general evangelical decline for my capstone. So there should be interesting reading associated with these papers at least (including David Wells’ five-part series). That said, here is my tentative personal winter/spring reading list.
Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin (continued all year)
Defense of the Faith, Cornelius Van Til
Lewis & Tolkien: The Gift of Friendship, Colin Duriez
Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
Treasure Island, Robert Lewis Stevenson
We Become What We Worship, G.K. Beale (might have to wait until summer)