Education Programs: Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Period of Performance

7/1/2009 - 6/30/2012

Funding Totals

$25,000.00 (approved)
$25,000.00 (awarded)

What Is a Just Society?

FAIN: AQ-50086-09

Willamette University (Salem, OR 97301-3922)
Jennifer Jopp (Project Director: November 2008 to April 2014)

Development of a lower division undergraduate course addressing issues related to justice, just society, and what makes justice prevail.

This course engages students in a consideration of justice and the role of justice in the construction of politics. We will ask: what is a just society? How might justice be measured? Attained? Maintained? Beginning with the REPUBLIC of Plato, the students will engage with philosophers and thinkers across many centuries who have pondered how best to construct a society that fosters justice. Touching as it does on many themes, the course will have students read works that encourage them to grapple with the related themes of the role of faith and reason in society, the possibilities for equality in human society, the nature of man, and the processes by which we might bring our ideal visions of society closer to fruition. Reading works by authors as diverse as Plato, Saint Augustine, Christine de Pizan, William Godwin, and John Rawls, students will-alone, together, and in larger forums-engage in wide-ranging discussions of the nature of the human quest for justice.