Educating the Whole Person
Working on Ourselves: Imagination, Interior Freedom, and the Academy
For many incoming students, the wealth of educational options and courses of study offered at Georgetown College can be both incredibly energizing and at the same time a bit imposing. Georgetown College’s Ignatius Seminar Program —so named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola, on whose philosophy Jesuit education is based — offers first year students the opportunity to delve into one-of-a-kind courses of study that provide interaction with College faculty in a way that makes very real the Jesuit educational theme of Cura personalis: educating the whole person. Learn more about the philosophy behind our Ignatius Seminars here.
Working on Ourselves
This fall, Dr. DeGioia is teaching an Ignatius Seminar entitled, "Working on Ourselves: Imagination, Interior Freedom, and the Academy." Here are his thoughts on the key themes and questions that will be raised.
"In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainier Maria Rilke encouraged his interlocutor to “Live the Questions Now.” By "living the questions"—the most urgent ones we face as human beings, we are able to identify the influences, values and assumptions that give form and order to our lives. There is no better time and no better place to engage this work than as undergraduates in a university community. The effort begins in this seminar, where we will read widely in literature, history, philosophy, and anthropology; our intensive classroom discussions will help us build upon these individual explorations. The conviction that animates Working on Ourselves is that by learning how to develop an awareness of the shape—the form and order, breadth and depth—of our lives, we will be able to expand the range of choices we can make about the values and responsibilities, to ourselves and others, that come to define us. This awareness, a lifelong practice that begins together in the classroom provides the conditions for greater freedom—an interior freedom—that becomes a way of life.
In our seminar we will draw from the resources of the Academy—a place of incomparable opportunities to engage in the work of deepening our interior freedom and grasping the nature of our responsibilities. In particular, we will seek to understand the world we are living in today—the various assumptions, explicit and implicit, that define the horizon of our times. We will imagine, analyze, characterize, and evaluate our relationship to these assumptions and our responses to them. Throughout we will be asking questions of the world: What is it? How do we see it? How do we engage in it? How do we live in it? And we will be asking questions of ourselves: How do we sustain our efforts in engaging in these "living questions"? This is the work of interior freedom and requires a lifelong commitment. And we will explore what such a commitment requires."
Learn more about the content of Dr. DeGioia's seminar, and all of our Ignatius Seminars, here.
Watch a video about the learning and teaching that happens in Ignatius Seminars here.