HIS 309L • Western Civ in Modern Times
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
In this course, we examine the central cultural characteristics of the Western heritage after the Reformation and discuss their transformation up to the present. A chronological historical narrative will be followed, but the most important focus of the course will be devoted to the examination of a number of central questions within Western society from the Reformation on through the present. We will attempt to formulate an understanding of "western civilization" and its central concerns and transformations. We will discuss such issues as the construction of political authority and its relationship to emerging conceptions of political liberty, the emergence of scientific thinking and religious tolerance, the genesis of revolution, market economies, the problem of genocide, and the consequences of globalization. We will examine and explain the emergence of the central characteristics of modern Western society, including mass society, democracy, colonialism, capitalism, secularism, political sovereignty, and the nation-state.
Designed to accomodate 100 or more students.