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Grant number like: AQ-50026-09

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Dominican University (River Forest, IL 60305-1099)
Christopher A. Colmo (Project Director: November 2008 to April 2014)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$24,765 (approved)
$23,872 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 12/31/2010

Gandhi and Western Classics

The preparation and teaching of a senior-level undergraduate seminar that addresses the question of justice through works by Gandhi and classical Western philosophers.

The proposed course will engage students in inquiry on the question "What is justice?" through a comparison of Gandhi and two Stoic philosophers, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, as well as Plato, Aristotle, and Tolstoy. Themes likely to emerge from this discussion include (1) the nature of and basis for universal claims about justice and a common human family; (2) the relation between non-violence and the primacy of morality as a human good, and (3) the competing claims of emotion and reason in defining justice. The discussion format of the course presupposes the creation of a pre-disciplinary community of inquiry rather than an expert presentation by a professional in a discipline. Shared textual inquiry will be partnered with discussion of Richard Attenborough's film and Philip Glass's opera about Gandhi, thereby expanding discussion to include the aesthetic. Students will also have occasion to engage in cross-cultural dialogue about the meaning of justice.