Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Essay Questions for the Final

Okay, for those of you who choose to do the final as a paper, choose ONE of the following four prompts. ONLY DO ONE!
  • Paper should be  @ 8 pages, double spaced Times New Roman, Microsoft Word format
  • You MUST give proper citations for anything that is not your own thought, or else it will be considered plagiarism. Include a Bibliography, if necessary.
  • Please limit  your references to works of art and architecture that we have already discusssed in class. The point of this assignment is not to break new ground but to make connections and concretize what you have already learned.  
  • You may submit them to me online, BUT BE SURE TO MAIL THEM TO THIS ADDRESS: bethb@valleycovenant.org
  • Papers MUST be received by 1 pm, Dec. 16, 2010 in order to receive full credit.

1. Trace the impact of Greek art and thought on Western art and architecture from Rome through the 19th century, by discussing at least five specific examples in detail.

2. Discuss how Western art and architecture can be understood in terms of “ping- ponging” between the ideal and the real, the head and the heart, etc. (as presented in the class handout, “Two Aspects of being Human.”) Discuss at least five specific examples in detail.

3. The thought of the modern period (17th – 19th century) has been described as “the eclipse of God.” What is meant by this? Show how this “eclipse” was captured in Western art and architecture by discussing at least five specific works and/or buildings in detail. In your opinion, which period and style do you think most successfully exhibits the Christian worldview? Why?

4. Discuss the relations of paintings, sculpture and architecture to the Church, from the 1st-19th century, by analyzing at least five select works. In your opinion, has Christian worship been enriched or diminished by images? Why? Which period and style do you think most successfully captures the Christian worldview? Why?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

PREPARATION for TEST #6: Rococo, Neoclassical and Romantic Periods

Wednesday, we will have our last test before the final. It will cover

Chapter 16, The 18th Century: Recoco to Revolution

Chapter 17:  Romanticism
  • pp. 445- 449 The Concerns of Romanticism and The Intellectual Background;
  • pp. 458-468 Romantic Art
Chapter 16: Define/Explain

fetes galantes
"Crush the infamous!"("Ecrasez l'infame!")
"After me, the flood." ("Apres moi, le deluge.")
noble savage
Rational Humanism
enlightened despot
Declaration of the Rights of Man

CH. 16: Define/Explain

William Hogarth
Thomas Gainsborough
Joshua Reynolds
Jacques Louis David
John Locke
Denis Diderot
the Encyclopedie
Thomas Jefferson
Jean-Antoine Houdon

Chapter 17: Define/Explain

Kaspar David Friedrich

the sublime
the beautiful

Chapter 17 Identify:

Watteau's Return From Cythera
Watteau's Fete Galante
Boucher's Toilet of Venus
Boucher's Cupid a Captive
Tiepolo's The Immaculate Conception
Hogath's Marriage à la Mode.
David's Death of Marat
David's The Oath of the Horatii
Reynold's Three ladies Adorning a Term of Hymen
Houdon's Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington

Pantheon, Paris.
La Madeleine, Paris

Goya's The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Goya's Saturn Devouring one of his Sons
Goya's The Family of Charles IV
Goya's Execution of the Madrilenos
Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa
Delacroix's Dante and Virgil in Hell
Delacroix's Massacre at Chios
Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalas
Friedrich's The Wreck of the Hope
Friedrich's The Wanderer

Chapters 16-17:  Discuss:

1. What are the characteristics of Rococo art and architecture?
2. What are the characteristics of Neoclassical art and architecture? Give evidence of them in the various paintings above.
3. What are the characteristics of the Enlightenment?
4. How would you describe the spirit of revolutionary France?
5. What was the impact of Winkelman's discovery of Pompeii?
6. What are the characteristics of Romanticism? How are the evidenced in the paintings above?
7. Compare and contast Rococo art and architecture with  and Neoclassical art and architecture. 
8. Compare and contrast Neoclassical art and architecture with Romantic art and architecture.
9. What is the difference between art that is "beautiful" and art that is "sublime?"
10. Why would someone say that the thought, art and architecture of  the 18th-19th century is "like ping-pong?"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Heirs of the Enlightenment....

Atheists Offer 'Reason's Greetings' in Marketing Blitz
With fewer Americans claiming organized religion, nonbelievers step up campaign
By Ambreen Ali, Newser User
Posted Nov 18, 2008 2:25 PM CST

(Newser) – It just isn’t the holiday season in America until nonbelievers and the devout begin sparring. This year, the godless are on the offensive, launching a marketing campaign to capitalize on the loosening grip of organized religion, telling neighbors, “We’re just like you,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Next month’s HumanLight celebration is intended as another milestone in their fight to enter America’s mainstream.

Conservative Christians scoff at the blitz, saying only 5% of Americans flatly deny God’s existence. The religious are countering this season’s nonbelievers campaign with their own—including billboards that ask, “Why do atheists hate America?” Yet the secular, who for the first time have a lobbyist in Washington, seem undeterred. “Step one is for people to know we’re not crazy,” says one.


For the inspiration of this sort of thing, see
The Cult of Reason
De-christianization of France during the French Revolution
Chapter 7, In Tune With the World: A Theory of Festivity  by Josef Pieper, Richard Winston
"Liberty, equality, festivity! - French Revolution - High Days and Holidays"

OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT: Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel

Take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel!

Almost better than being there because you can see all the paintings up close without straining your neck. TO VIEW EVERY PART OF THE MICHELANGELO'S MASTERPIECE JUST CLICK Sistine Chapel above, then DRAG the ARROW IN THE DIRECTION YOU WISH TO SEE.

In the low left, click on the plus (+) to move closer, on the minus (-) to move away. Choir is thrown in for free. Hold down the left clicker on your mouse to rotate the picture.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

What to read for Chapter 17: The Romantic Era

Since we are only focusing on art and architecture in this class, you are only responsible to read the following pages for Chapter 17:
p. 445- 449
The Concerns of Romanticism
The Intellectual Background

p. 458- 468
Romantic Art

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ ANYTHING ELSE (but I hope you will want to sometime!)

As far as the online quizzes go, you only need to do:

Chapter 17 multiple choice: questions 1, 4, 5 and 7.
Chapter 17 true-false: question 2  

Monday, November 29, 2010

OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT: The French Revolution in Opera

Final Scene from Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites

Based on true events

According to Grove Music Online , the story of the Compiègne Carmelites was first told by one of their number, Mother Marie of the Incarnation of God, who survived the Terror and lived until 1836. The publication of her Relation led to the beatification of the nuns in 1906

Set during the French Revolution, the story centers upon Blanche, the daughter of the aristocratic Marquis de la Force. Fleeing the wrath of the rebels, Blanche takes refuge in a convent run by Carmelite nuns. Deciding to devote her life to God, Blanche willingly undergoes the rigors and disciplines of her new life--only to have that life, and the lives of all the other nuns, placed in jeopardy when the rebels catch up with her. The production is capped by the harrowing "martyrdom" finale, in which the voice of each nun is abruptly silenced, one after another, by the sound of the headsman's axe.

The nuns march to the scaffold, singing "Salve Regina." At the last minute, Blanche, who had earlier run away from the convent, appears, to Sister Constance’s joy; but as she mounts the scaffold, Blanche changes the hymn to "Deo patri sit gloria" (All praise be thine, O risen Lord).

Be sure to watch to the end, to see what happens as the crowd disperses.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT: How Nominalists Understand God

Here is a helpful introduction to the impact of nominalism on theology:

In relation to theology, the nominalist view goes something like this:

In speaking of the variously defined and described attributes of God, theologians are in fact only using different words to speak of the one and same thing. Again, for clarification - whereas the followers of hyper-realism [Platonism] had transformed the attribute of goodness from a subsistence existing in the mind of God to a substance existing autonomously of it, the nominalists went to the opposite extreme and denied the reality of goodness at all - whether as subsistence or as substance. The logic of nominalism declares a God with no attributes, and thus one with no nature.

But a God with no nature is essentially unknowable, for there can be no characteristics expressed or revealed. Yet the nominalist must then also argue that our experience of God"s seeming multiplicity of attributes is merely a subjectivist illusion, describing not God as he is in himself but only our own experiences as finite creatures. Thus nominalism offers us an unknowable God to whom we respond on the basis of feelings and intuitions.

Ronald Nash provides a good outline of the basic nominalist argument, as follows:

1. Universals (i.e., 'goodness') do not exist.

2. Therefore, properties (a species of universals) do not exist.

3. Therefore, God does not have any properties; God has no nature.

4. Therefore, words that apparently refer to divine attributes cannot possibly denote distinguishable properties within the divine essence. There are no properties of God to which they can refer.

5. Since words referring to divine attributes all have the same referent (nothing), all of God"s attribute-words mean the same thing.

6. Thus, absolutely no differences exist between the various attributes of God.

7. Thus, God"s omniscience is identical with his omnipotence, which is identical with his goodness, and so on.

With regard to nominalism, Charles Hodge notes that Lutheran and Reformed theologians have traditionally leaned heavily in that direction, to the effect that they have tended to emphasize, say, the logical precedence of the unity and simplicity of the divine essence over all other criteria of multiplicity. Hodge points out that the illustration which they usually employed to explain this view was drawn from the sun, by which God"s "ray, by one and the same power (as was then assumed) illuminates, warms, and produces chemical changes, not from any diversity in it, but from diversity in the nature of the objects in which it operates. The force is the same; the effects are different." But he then goes on to point out the dangers of such a leaning, writing that "to say, as the schoolmen, and even as so many Protestant theologians, ancient and modern, were accustomed to say, that the divine attributes differ only in name, or in our conceptions, or in their effects, is to destroy all true knowledge of God."

Nowadays, many theologians see nominalism as a path that leads directly to subjectivism, and to the replacement of Scripture-based theology with existentially oriented emotional responses to an unknown God.

Protestant Scholasticism

Here's yet another article I have stumbled upon that you might find stimulating. It's about how Protestants rejected Aristotle's metaphysics but couldn't abandon his logic. This led to rigid Calvinists who were "all head and no heart;" and later to the pietist reaction against them, (pietists = "all heart but no head.")

In the wake of the Reformation we are left with shards, not only ethically, as MacIntyre argues, but metaphysically and logically. This is why I am sympathetic to the Thomist understanding of Christianity. I don't want to abandon either Aristotle's metaphysics or his logic, but rather want to see them completed in Christ.

(the following is an excerpt from R. J. Vandermolen, Elwell Evangelical Dictionary )
Protestant Scholasticism
A method of thinking developed in early Protestantism, which grew stronger in the seventeenth century and became a widely accepted way to create systematic Protestant theologies. Even though the major Protestant Reformers attacked the theology of the medieval schoolmen and demanded total reliance on Scripture, it was impossible either to purge all scholastic methods and attitudes derived from classical authors or to avoid conflicts that required intricate theological reasoning as well as biblical interpretation.

Several factors account for the growth of Protestant scholasticism: formal education, confidence in reason, and religious controversy. Reliance on logical methods derived from Greek and Roman authors was purged from sixteenth century educational insititutions. Aristotle, for example, upon whom the medieval scholastics had relied, continued to be taught by Protestants: Melanchthon at Wittenberg, Peter Martyr Vermigli at Oxford, Jerome Zanchi at Strassburg, Conrad Gesner at Zurich, Theodore Beza at Geneva. Though these teachers did not accept Thomas Aquinas's medieval scholastic theology, which also relied heavily on Aristotle's logic and philosophy, they did teach Aristotle's deductive logic and gave reason an important place in theology.

Though Luther (following William of Ockham) and Calvin (following French humanists) decried scholastic reliance on reason and wanted instead to limit their theology to humanist linguistic analysis of Scripture, the Protestant scholastics, without breaking from the major Reformers, were more amenable to human reason. Reason became a means to develop coherent theology out of the great variety of biblical texts. Further, Renaissance learning, though it stressed textual analysis, also placed confidence in human rationality. The Protestant use of scholastic techniques and attitudes consequently kept them in the mainstream of early modern philosophy, which, though it moved away from deductive logic, maintained confidence in reason. Protestant theologians, especially the Calvinists, could use scholastic methods to inquire beyond biblical texts into the intricacies and implications of Protestant theology, especially when election and the will of God were considered.

Theological controversy also encouraged Protestant scholasticism. When Luther and Zwingli disagreed over the Lord's Supper and when Calvinists entered great controversies over predestination, protagonists often resorted to scholastic logic. The controversies themselves called for thorough, intricate argumentation; for biblical texts on the issues were interpreted in a variety of ways. Also, those who won the controversies embodied victory in tightly reasoned doctrinal statements. Thus, there is strong evidence of Protestant scholasticism in the Canons of Dort, the Westminister Confession, and the Helvetic Confession of 1675.

The influence of Protestant scholasticism was both immediate and long - range. Among Lutherans, the essential doctrine of justification by faith was transformed into a rather complicated theory of conversion by the most famous Lutheran scholastic, Johann Gerhard (1582 - 1637). Gerhard used Aristotelian and scriptural proof in his Loci Theologicae (9 vols.). While this work was important for shaping Lutheran orthodoxy, in the seventeenth century German pietists replaced scholasticism with a greater emphasis on experiential Christianity. Among the Reformed, two scholastic traditions were developed. Peter Ramus modeled his logic on Plato and Cicero in an attempt to avoid too great an emphasis on metaphysics. Though his work was banned in various continental Protestant centers (Wittenberg, Leiden Helmstedt, Geneva), Ramus had a great influence on Puritan thought in England and America.

The dominant Reformed scholastics, however, were Beza, Vermigli, Adrianus Heerebout, and, most importantly, Francis Turretin (1623 - 87). Turretin's Institutio became the standard work for modern Protestant scholastics, as it was used as a textbook to shape the modern Princeton Theology. Reformed scholasticism in this tradition led to what is generally labeled Calvinist orthodoxy.

The theology of this branch of Protestant scholasticism was, as in the case of Gerhard, dependent on scriptural evidences and Aristotelian logic. The Reformed scholastics concentrated for the most part on questions evolving from predestination, and thus produced a rather rigid Calvinism. At the same time, the movement was amenable to the use of reason, thus allowing the Reformed to adapt to modern rationalist and Enlightenment philosophy quite easily. Noteworthy in this regard is the rather easy accommodation of philosophy and theology in the Scottish Enlightenment. The impact of Protestant scholasticism's methods and outlook was threefold: it created a systematic, well - defined, and aggressive Protestant theology; it led to a reaction by those who emphasized the emotional character of Christian piety; and it encouraged accommodation to early modern philosophy.

---R J Vandermolen (Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)

BibliographyB Armstrong, Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy; J W Beardslee, III, ed. and tr., Reformed Dogmatics; J P Donnelly, "Italian Influences on the Development of Calvinist Scholasticism," SCJ 7:81 - 101; J H Leith, An Introduction to the Reformed Tradition; NCE, III; O Grundler, "The Influence of Thomas Aquinas upon the Theology of G Zanchi," in Studies in Medieval Culture; B Hall, "Calvin Against the Calvinists," in John Calvin, ed. G E Duffield; P O Kristeller, Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic, and Humanist Strains; R Scharlemann, Aquinas and Gerhard: Theological Controversy and Construction in Medieval and Protestant Scholasticism.
The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 1997.

presentation was last updated on 12/31/2006 14:14:00The main BELIEVE web-page (and the index to subjects) is at http://mb-soft.com/believe/indexaz.html

Protestant and Catholic Art

here is an interesting ppt about Catholic and Protestant art in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. It gives a closer look at some of the works we have encountered, and introduces some new pieces.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Preparation for Test #5: Northern Renaissance and Reformation/ The Baroque

There will be a test Friday Nov. 19 on Chapter 14, Northern Renaissance and Reformation and chapter 15, The Baroque.

define: Counter-reformation
“Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am")
line engraving
linear perspective

explain who or what these are and why they are important:
Henry VIII and the Anglicans
Hans Holbein the Younger
Ignatius of Loyola
The Spiritual Exercises
Council of Trent
Louis XIV
El Greco
Francis Bacon

Be able to identify and discuss:
Isenheim Altarpiece

Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights
Breugel's Hunters in the Snow
Bernini's David
Bernini, St. Peter’s Piazza
Bernini, St. Teresa in Ecstasy
El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz
Frans Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the Civic Guard of St. George at Haarlem
Rembrandt's The Night Watch
Rembrandt's Self Portraits
Rembrandt, The Jewish Bride
Rembrandt, Bathing Bathsheba
Rubens' Helene Formant and her Children
Rubens, Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus
Caravaggio's The Calling of St. Matthew
Velasquez' Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor)
Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
Vermeer's The Milkmaid
Holbein's Anne of Cleves
Hilliard's Ermine Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I

Discuss: (refer to readings and powerpoints)

  •  how were the Reformers and the Humanists the same? different?
  • Give some examples of how Europe shifted from a premodern visual culture to a modern aural culture.
  • explain the causes of and the cultural significance of the Reformation.
  • Briefly discuss the intellectual developments of the 16th and 17th centuries, including the growth of science (Francis Bacon and various other scientists)
  • Compare Dutch Protestant painting with painting in Italy and Spain.
  • What are some of the traits of baroque art and architecture? Give some examples.
  • How did Descartes upset the established order of philosophical inquiry and introduce a new narrative for western civilization?
  • How does modern explanation differ from premodern explanation?
  • Compare and contrast Hals' Banquet of the Officers of the Civic Guard of St. George at Haarlem and Rembrandt's The Night Watch.
  • Compare Versailles and St. Peter’s Basilica. How do they embody the Baroque  spirit?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Two Questions: What does it mean to be Human?

1. Which picture best illustrates what it means to be a human being?





a) Premodern Model (realism)

b) Modern Model  (nominalism)

c) Postmodern model (anti-realism)

2) Which model is closest to what Scripture says it means to be a human being?

Monday, November 01, 2010

PREPARATION for TEST #4: The Renaissance in Italy

There will be a test Friday, Nov. 4 over chapter 12, Early Renaissance, and Chapter 13, The High Renaissance in Italy

pyramidal arrangement
Christian humanism

Explain who or what these are and why they are important:

The Medici Era
Cosimo de'Medici
Fra Angelico
Lorenzo the Magnificent (Il Magnifico)
Fra Savonarola
Marsilio Ficino
The Prince
Pope Julius II
Leonardo da Vinci
St. Peter's Basilica

Be able to identify and discuss:

Giovanni Amolfini and His Bride by Van Eyck
Florence Baptistry doors (Gates of Paradise)
The Holy Trinity by Masaccio
The Tribute Money by Masaccio
The Annunciation by Fra Angelico
La Primavera by Botticelli
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
Adoration of the Magi by Botticelli
Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Florence Cathedral) by Brunelleschi
The School of Athens by Raphael
Madonna of the Meadow by Raphael
The Transfiguration by Raphael
The Last Supper by Leonardo
The Last Supper by Tintoretto
Donatello's David
Sistine Chapel ceiling, by Michelangelo
Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo
Michelangelo's David
Michaelangelo's Moses
Michaelangelo's Boboli Captives
Venus of Urbino by Titian
Enthroned Madonna with Saints by Giorgione,
Madonna of the Long Neck by Parmagiano,
Deposition by Pontormo

 Discuss: (Refer to readings and/or powerpoints)
1) What were some of the causes of the Renaissance?
2) What were the primary sites of the Renaissance, and in what order?
3) What are the characteristics of Early Renaissance art?
4) What was the role of the Medici family in the Florentine Renaissance? Discuss the three greatest of them.
5) "Man is the measure of all things" has been said to be a fitting motto for the Renaissance. Discuss why, and compare the Renaissance to the "dark ages." From a Christian point of view, was the Renaissance really an improvement?
6) Compare and contrast the two styles of humanism represented by Machiavelli and Erasmus.
7) Compare Michelangelo's style with Raphael's style. How would you tell them apart?
8) Discuss Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
9) Compare Leonardo's Last Supper with Tintoretto's Last Supper. How could you tell who painted which?
10) What are the characteristics of Mannerist art?
11) What are some examples of neoplatonism in Renaissance painting?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Windows

                                                      by George Herbert

                                Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?
                                He is a brittle crazy glass;
                                Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford
                                This glorious and transcendent place,
                                To be a window, through thy grace.

                                But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story,
                                Making thy life to shine within
                                The holy preachers, then the light and glory
                                More reverend grows, and more doth win;
                                Which else shows waterish, bleak, and thin.

                                Doctrine and life, colors and light, in one
                                When they combine and mingle, bring
                                A strong regard and awe; but speech alone
                                Doth vanish like a flaring thing,
                                And in the ear, not conscience, ring.

NOTE: Anneal is a term that means to use great heat to actually burn colors into the glass.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

PREPARATION for Test #3: Middle Ages

The test on Monday will cover the early, high and late middle ages. That means chapters 9, 10 and 11, with the EXCEPTION of the following sections:

Chapter 9:
Monasticism and Gregorian Chant
Liturgical Music and the Rise of Drama
The Morality Play
The Legend of Charlemagne: Song of Roland

Chapter 10:
Music: The school of Notre Dame
Dante's Divine Commedy

Chapter 11:
Literature in Italy, England and France
Music: Ars Nova

flying buttress (also called "flying arch")
Seven Liberal Arts
Sic et Non
“Credo ut Intellegam”
Rule of St. Benedict
Carolingian miniscule
Lectio Divina
"mysticism of light"
pilgrimage church
Black Death
Hundred Year’s War
Great Schism
“Devotio Moderna”
International Gothic Style

Explain who or what these are, and why they are important:

Saint Sernin, Toulouse Church (be able to identify)
Chartres Cathedral (Be able to identify)
Beauvais Cathedral
Milan Cathedral (Duomo, Milan) (Be able to identify)
Palace at Aachen (be able to identify)
Paris (the city of)
University of Paris
Abbot Suger
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Thomas Aquinas
Rule of St. Benedict
Dagulf Psalter (identify)
Summa Theologiae
Wilton Diptych (identify)
Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (identify)

(refer to readings and power point presentations)
· How did Charlemagne and Alcuin foster literacy and learning?
· Identify and discuss the Utrecht psalter, the Dagulf Psalter and the Gospel book of Charlemagne
· Who were the important philosophers of the early and high middle ages, and what were some of their ideas?
· What is meant by Scholasticism?
· Discuss the Romanesque style. How does it reflect Benedictine traditions? Discuss some specific Romanesque buildings.
· Discuss the Gothic style How does it reflect Scholasticism? Discuss some specific Gothic cathedrals.
· Compare and contrast Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
· What is meant by “the mysticism of light?” Give examples.
· What is meant by the term “gothic?”
· What three factors made the 14th century a “time of transition?” What effect did they have on the way people of the late middle ages thought and valued? How did this play out in the art and architecture of the time?
· Are there any similarities between the world of the 14th century and ours today? Explain.
· Explain how the Black Death, the Great Schism, and the Hundred Years’ war changed European culture
· Explain the importance of these cities: Paris, Siena
· Why is Giotto important? What is meant by his "break with the past?"What are the important themes of the Middle Ages? Discuss in detail.
· Explain, and give examples of how the medievals understood life as a pilgrimage.
· Explain and discuss the "both-and" worldview of the middle ages.
· What was the impact of Monasticism on the middle ages?
Compare and contrast St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas

OPTIONAL: The Slippery Slope of Nominalism

Nominalism --> voluntarism--> Luther and Calvin --> Kierkegaard -->; Nietzsche -->Sartre 
--> Postmodernism

What is Nominalism? (or, the story of some "isms")
Premoderns were metaphysical realists, either extreme (Platonists) or moderate (Aristotelians).
Realists think there are “forms,” natures or essences, which exist independent of human minds. These natures, or essences are also called universals. Platonists thought those forms existed in a separate, transcendent realm: the Ideal world, as opposed to the material world. Aristotelians thought that (for the most part, with only a few exceptions) the forms existed in this world. Moderate realists hold that there is no separate realm in which universals exist, but rather universals are located in space and time, in things themselves. Yet even though they might not exist in a separate world, these universals, or essences still are abstractions, or meta-physical entities, things which are known by the intellect, and not by the senses.

At the end of the middle ages, in the 14th century, an entirely new idea arrived, and one might consider it the death knell of premodernism and the birth of modernism. Nominalism is the view that there are no universals, and thus no essences. Nominalists hold that various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name. In contrast to Platonic realism ( which held that universals have a separate existence apart from the individual object) nominalism insists that reality is found only in the objects themselves, not in any meta-physical realm or principle. Thus the senses increasingly became the vehicle for deciding what is real.

For us today, comfortable as we are with scientific naturalism and a materialistic view of reality, none of this sounds very revolutionary. But consider the implications for premodern persons. “If there are no universals, then things are radically individualized” the premodern protests. “There is no way for things to be connected. Everything is autonomous.” Nominalism required a 180 degree intellectual shift for the medieval premodern mind, which had not hesitated to make distinctions between things, but did so in order to unite them ultimately in a great chain of being created by, sustained by, and redeemed by God:

“Philosophy is to distinguish (Philosophiae est distinguere). But its ultimate purpose is not to decompose things into fragments, but to appreciate more profoundly the diversity within unity, the multi-faceted constitution of being, the manner in which the object of philosophical inquiry is integrated.” http://www.cfpeople.org/Apologetics/page51a054.html
Nominalist thinkers did just the opposite. The revolution was led by William of Ockham and Francis Bacon. Holding things to be radically separate, nominalists like Ockham sought to impose some sort of order on the chaos, by grouping things together according to the needs and uses of the person knowing them. Rather than submitting and conforming one’s mind to reality one’s mind begins to actively shape reality.

The Nominalists agenda was also furthered by Francis Bacon’s new emphasis on knowing by induction rather than by deductive syllogism. Because the senses always only encounter individual particulars, they become the starting point for any sort of “objective,” factual knowing. Universals, abstractions, and other meta-physical items thus can never be known “objectively,” as facts, because they can never be immediately known through the senses. They can only be known subjectively, as matters of ‘belief.” Belief in turn becomes accepted as purely a matter of will, and so the stage is set for a voluntaristic God—a sovereign God whose essence is Will—and Who is the object faith, not reason.

“In the fourteenth century William of Ockham devised a nominalistic system of theology based on his belief that universals were only a convenience of the human mind. According to this view, the fact of a resemblance between two individuals does not necessitate a common attribute; the universals one forms in his mind more likely reflect one's own purposes rather than the character of reality. This led William to question scholastic arguments built upon such abstractions. As he argues in his Centilogium, systematization of theology must be rejected, for theology can ultimately be based only on faith and not on fact. Therefore, through grace and not knowledge, he accepted the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, bowed to the authority of the pope, and declared the authority of Scripture. His follower, Gabriel Biel, would carry his thought to its logical conclusion and declare that reason could neither demonstrate that God was the First Cause of the universe nor make a distinction between the attributes of God, including God's intellect and will. The reality of the Trinity, as well as any theological dogma, can be found only in the realm of faith, not in the realm of reason. This was diametrically opposed to the natural theology of medieval scholasticism.”
(the above is taken from http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/nominali.htm. For more about this transition, also see http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ229.HTM “The Influence of William of Ockham and Nominalism on Martin Luther and Early Protestant Thought,” compiled and edited by Dave Armstrong.)

Once immaterial, spiritual things are consigned to the realm of belief, not fact, they are forced to be objects of will, not reason. Kierkegaard sees this clearly, and fully embraces it, calling for the “leap of faith.” Nietzsche-- building upon Kant’s idea that all we can know are appearances (phenomena) never the reality (noumena)—further develops the significance of the will by insisting reality is the creation of the person with the most powerful will, the “ubermensch,” or “super-man.” Sartre can be seen as a kinder, gentler Nietzsche, whose mantra, “existence comes before essence” also underscores the superiority of will. For Sartre, I progressively define myself (and my reality) by my choices.

Philosophical postmodernism is the celebration of subjectivity, and the denial of any objective metaphysical, epistemological or moral absolutes, for “absolutes” are universal, and if there is nothing universal, then there is nothing absolute. It is no wonder, then, that Christians like Rodney Clapp ( A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in Postmodern Society, InterVarsity, 1996) argue that philosophical Postmodernism can be seen as the final stage of modernist nominalism. It will be interesting to see how Protestantism, having been birthed by nominalism, extricates itself from nominalism’s suffocating grip.

OPTIONAL: Bernard of Clairvaux, Medieval Hymnist

These songs of worship were written by Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century. Click on the first line link for the tune.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Savior of mankind!

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.

O Jesus, King most wonderful
Thou Conqueror renowned,
Thou sweetness most ineffable
In Whom all joys are found!

When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart,
Then kindles love divine.

O Jesus, light of all below,
Thou fount of living fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire.

Jesus, may all confess Thy Name,
Thy wondrous love adore,
And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame
To seek Thee more and more.

Thee, Jesus, may our voices bless,
Thee may we love alone,
And ever in our lives express
The image of Thine own.

O Jesus, Thou the beauty art
Of angel worlds above;
Thy Name is music to the heart,
Inflaming it with love.

Celestial Sweetness unalloyed,
Who eat Thee hunger still;
Who drink of Thee still feel a void
Which only Thou canst fill.

O most sweet Jesus, hear the sighs
Which unto Thee we send;
To Thee our inmost spirit cries;
To Thee our prayers ascend.

Abide with us, and let Thy light
Shine, Lord, on every heart;
Dispel the darkness of our night;
And joy to all impart.

Jesus, our love and joy to Thee,
The virgin’s holy Son,
All might and praise and glory be,
While endless ages run.

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee Thou art good,
To them that find Thee all in all.

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.

OPTIONAL: Medievals, Moderns (and Postmoderns) on Heaven

If you haven't discovered Peter Kreeft, now is the time. Here is one of his articles from his website.
What Difference Does Heaven Make?
If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?

Only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; between "chance or the dance". At death we find out which vision is true: does it all go down the drain in the end, or are all the loose threads finally tied together into a gloriously perfect tapestry? Do the tangled paths through the forest of life lead to the golden castle or over the cliff and into the abyss? Is death a door or a hole?

To medieval Christendom, it was the world beyond the world that made all the difference in the world to this world. The Heaven beyond the sun made the earth "under the sun" something more than "vanity of vanities". Earth was Heaven's womb, Heaven's nursery, Heaven's dress rehearsal. Heaven was the meaning of the earth. Nietzsche had not yet popularized the serpent's tempting alternative: "You are the meaning of the earth." Kant had not yet disseminated "the poison of subjectivism" by his "Copernican revolution in philosophy", in which the human mind does not discover truth but makes it, like the divine mind.

Descartes had not yet replaced the divine I AM with the human "I think, therefore I am" as the "Archimedean point", had not yet replaced theocentrism with anthropocentrism. Medieval man was still his Father's child, however prodigal, and his world was meaningful because it was "my Father's world" and he believed his Father's promise to take him home after death.

This confidence towards death gave him a confidence towards life, for life's road led somewhere. The Heavenly mansion at the end of the earthly pilgrimage made a tremendous difference to the road itself. Signs and images of Heavenly glory were strewn all over his earthly path. The "signs" were (1) nature and (2) Scripture, God's two books, (3) general providence, and (4) special miracles. (The word translated "miracle" in the New Testament [sëmeion] literally means "sign".) The images surrounded him like the hills surrounding the Holy City. They, too, pointed to Heaven. For instance, the images of saints in medieval statuary were seen not merely as material images of the human but as human images of the divine, windows onto God. They were not merely stone shaped into men and women but men and women shaped into gods and goddesses. Lesser images too were designed to reflect Heavenly glory: kings and queens, heraldry and courtesy and ceremony, authority and obedience—these were not just practical socio-economic inventions but steps in the Cosmic Dance, links in the Great Chain of Being, rungs on Jacob's ladder, earthly reflections of Heaven. Distinctively premodern words like glory, majesty, splendor, triumph, awe, honor—these were more than words; they were lived experiences. More, they were experienced realities.

The glory has departed. We moderns have lost much of medieval Christendom's faith in Heaven because we have lost its hope of Heaven, and we have lost its hope of Heaven because we have lost its love of Heaven. And we have lost its love of Heaven because we have lost its sense of Heavenly glory.

Medieval imagery (which is almost totally biblical imagery) of light, jewels, stars, candles, trumpets, and angels no longer fits our ranch-style, supermarket world. Pathetic modern substitutes of fluffy clouds, sexless cherubs, harps and metal halos (not halos of light) presided over by a stuffy divine Chairman of the Bored are a joke, not a glory. Even more modern, more up-to-date substitutes—Heaven as a comfortable feeling of peace and kindness, sweetness and light, and God as a vague grandfatherly benevolence, a senile philanthropist—are even more insipid.
Our pictures of Heaven simply do not move us; they are not moving pictures. It is this aesthetic failure rather than intellectual or moral failures in our pictures of Heaven and of God that threatens faith most potently today. Our pictures of Heaven are dull, platitudinous and syrupy; therefore, so is our faith, our hope, and our love of Heaven.

It is surely a Satanic triumph of the first order to have taken the fascination out of a doctrine that must be either a fascinating lie or a fascinating fact. Even if people think of Heaven as a fascinating lie, they are at least fascinated with it, and that can spur further thinking, which can lead to belief. But if it's dull, it doesn't matter whether it's a dull lie or a dull truth. Dullness, not doubt, is the strongest enemy of faith, just as indifference, not hate, is the strongest enemy of love.

It is Heaven and Hell that put bite into the Christian vision of life on earth, just as playing for high stakes puts bite into a game or a war or a courtship. Hell is part of the vision too: the height of the mountain is appreciated from the depth of the valley, and for winning to be high drama, losing must be possible. For salvation to be "good news", there must be "bad news" to be saved from. If all of life's roads lead to the same place, it makes no ultimate difference which road we choose. But if they lead to opposite places, to infinite bliss or infinite misery, unimaginable glory or unimaginable tragedy, if the spirit has roads as really and objectively different as the body's roads and the mind's roads, and if these roads lead to destinations as really and objectively different as two different cities or two different mathematical conclusions—why, then life is a life-or-death affair, a razor's edge, and our choice of roads is infinitely important.

We no longer live habitually in this medieval mental landscape. If we are typically modern, we live in ennui; we are bored, jaded, cynical, flat, and burnt out. When the skies roll back like a scroll and the angelic trump sounds, many will simply yawn and say, "Pretty good special effects, but the plot's too traditional." If we were not so bored and empty, we would not have to stimulate ourselves with increasing dosages of sex and violence—or just constant busyness. Here we are in the most fantastic fun and games factory ever invented—modern technological society—and we are bored, like a spoiled rich kid in a mansion surrounded by a thousand expensive toys. Medieval people by comparison were like peasants in toyless hovels—and they were fascinated. Occasions for awe and wonder seemed to abound: birth and death and love and light and darkness and wind and sea and fire and sunrise and star and tree and bird and human mind—and God and Heaven. But all these things have not changed, we have. The universe has not become empty and we, full; it has remained full and we have become empty, insensitive to its fullness, cold hearted.

Yet even in this cold heart a strange fire kindles at times—something from another dimension, another kind of excitement—when we dare to open the issue of Heaven, the issue of meeting God, with the mind and heart together. Like Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones, we experience the shock of the dead coming to life.
C.S. Lewis: "You have had a shock like that before, in connection with smaller matters—when the line pulls at your hand, when something breathes beside you in the darkness. So here; the shock comes at the precise moment when the thrill of life is communicated to us along the clue we have been following. It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. "Look out!" we cry, "It's alive!" And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An "impersonal God"—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power that we can tap-best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ("Man's search for God"!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that!"

When it does come to that, we feel a strange burning in the heart, like the disciples on the road to Emmaeus. Ancient, sleeping hopes and fears rise like giants from their graves. The horizons of our comfortable little four-dimensional universe crack, and over them arises an enormous bliss and its equally enormous absence. Heaven and Hell—suppose, just suppose it were really, really true! What difference would that make?

I think we know.

From Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heavenby Ignatius Press.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

PREPARATION for TEST #2: Rome and Byzantium

On Monday  you will have a test over Chapter 4, Rome, and Chapter 7, Byzantium
It will be similar to the last test, with fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice questions.

Be sure to do the art, architecture, philosophy and theology sections of the Multiple Choice and True False quizzes on the course companion site  here. Scroll down to get to the chapter you need.

You will be responsible for pages 80-94; 96-100; 102-116

Be sure you can identify/define the following:
Augustus Caesar
Marcus Aurelius
Ius Civile
Ara Pacis
Augustus of Prima Portaarch
barrel vault

From video: be able to identify and explain

Appian Way
Nero's Domus Aurea, or "Golden House"
Vespasian, the "Anti-Nero"
Colosseum (also known as Flavian Amphitheater)
Trajan's Forum (including Trajan's Column, Trajan's Market)
Hadrian's Wall
(Hadrian's) Pantheon
Baths of Caracalla

Be able to:

Link the following emperors with their engineering project:

1) Julius Caesar + Appian Way;

2) Augustus Caesar + aquaducts;

3) Nero + Domus Aurea/"Golden House"

4) Vespasian+ Colosseum;

5) Trajan + Forum; Column

6) Hadrian + Pantheon;

7) Caracalla + Baths

Trace the evolution of the basilica, from the Greeks to the Christians

Discuss how Roman architecture was more advanced than Greek architecture; compare and contrast

Describe the three periods of Rome: Etruscans, Republic and Imperial Rome

You will be responsible for pages 157-175

Be sure you can identify/define the following:

votive chapel
Hagia Sophia
Codex Siniaticus
Hagia Sophia
Galla Placidia Mausoleum
Sant'Appolinare Nuovo
San Vitale
St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai


Compare the Eastern/Greek mind and the Western/Latin (Roman) mind

Identify the main characteristics of Byzantine architecture.

How is Byzantine art intimately bound to theological doctrine and worship?

Explain the Eastern fascination with light, and how mosaics are uniquely suited to serve that fascination.

Discuss the significance of icons, and how they reinforce the Eastern value of stability, as opposed to novelty. Why might someone say that Byzantine art is static, but not stagnant?

Discuss the significance of the following persons: Boethius, Augustine, Theodoric, Justinian and Theodora.

Discuss Justinian's importance to the history of architecture

Compare and contrast:
  • Constantinople and Ravenna
  • Hagia Sophia;  Sant'Appolinare Nuovo; and San Vitale
Identify and explain the importance of St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai

Comment on the importance of the Byzantine empire following the fall of the Roman empire, and its persistance throughout history.

OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT: "Immortal, Invisible"

Protestants may be familiar with this hymn. It is probably the closest thing we have to evoking the Eastern/Greek/Byzantine spirit of worship.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT: The St. Louis Cathedral Basilica

The St. Louis Cathedral basilica was inspired by Hagia Sophia. The interior is ablaze with mosaics, and richly decorated, so that even though it is not a replica, it is intended to evoke a similar awe and majesty. More than 41,000,000 pieces of glass tesserae illustrate numerous religious stories. This makes it the largest mosaic collection in the world. Check out this site or this for more information, and the photographs below.

Note the "stripes" / horizontal lines, the pendentives, and brilliant mosaics which are typical of the Byzantine style.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Preparation for Test #1: GREECE

Monday's test will cover Early Greece, Chapter 2, pages 33-52; Classical Greece and the Hellenistic Period, Chapter 3

it will include 20 fill-in-the-blank questions (select from a list) and 40 multiple choice questions (each question is worth 2 points). Be prepared to name the italicized works of art from a picture of it.

Be sure you can identify/define the following:

  • meander
  • geometric vases
  • dentil molding
  • bead and reel molding
  • leaf and tongue molding
  • capital
  • pediment
  • metope
  • triglyth
  • frieze
  • Doric column
  • Ionic column
  • flute
  • volute
  • harmony
  • entasis
  • Parthenon
  • "parthenos"
  • "kore"
  • "kouros /kouroi"
  • Kritios Boy
  • Calf Bearer
  • Discobolus (Discus Thrower)
  • Aphrodite of Cyrene
  • Laocoon
  • Altar of Zeus, (Pergamun)
  • Doryphoros
  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Alexander the Great
  • The Academy
  • The Lyceum
  • Myron
  • Praxiteles
  • Caryatids
  • Polykleitos' "Canon"
  • Three characteristics of Greek thought and architecture: Rationalism, Humanism, Idealism
  • Lord Elgin
  • archaic smile
  • Aristotle's "Four Causes:" form, matter, agent/efficient and purpose/final

Use the glossary in the course compation site if you need to, and be sure to do the T/F and Multiple choice quizzes. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT QUESTIONS THAT CONCERN literature, drama, music; ONLY PHILOSOPHY, ART and ARCHITECTURE!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Presocratic Comic Book

Want to know more about the Presocratic philosophers? Take a look here

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Two Aspects of Being Human

Human beings are created in God’s image. What is perfectly balanced and united in Him is reflected partially and, since the Fall, imperfectly in us. Art reflects this present reality, though it has sometimes aspired to the divine Reality.

“Greek” ..........................................................................“Hebrew”
Cool,cold.......................................................................Warm, hot
Machines,mechanical................................................Organisms, organic
Horizontal and vertical........................................... Diagonal and curves
Form, structure..................................................Decoration, color

Experiencing Art and Architecture

In this class we will be exploring the visual arts, as opposed to literature, music, or drama. Specifically, we will focus on two-dimensional and three-dimensional arts. Below is a guide to help you understand how to analyze such works as paintings, sculpture, and architecture.

adapted from Dennis J. Sporre, Artsguide: World and Web. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.

I. Visual Arts:

A. Two-dimensional Arts :

1. examples: painting, prints, drawing, photography,
2. have permanence in space and time, unlike music, which doesn’t.

B. Three-Dimensional Arts:
1. examples: sculpture, architecture
2. have permanence in space and time

II. Analysis of two dimensional art involves:

A. Elements of Composition

1. line (is it curved or straight? thick or thin?)

2. form (what is space described by the line? what is the shape?
Forms in paintings can’t be understood apart from lines. )

3. color
a) hue (what colors on the color wheel are used?)
b) value (graying a hue by adding black)
c) intensity (graying a hue by adding its complementary hue)

4. Mass/Space (do the forms give the illusion of mass, relative to other objects in the picture?

5. texture (is the picture rough or smooth? ie, a glossy photo or a Can Gogh canvas done with palatte knife?)

B. Principles of Composition

1. repetition ( how are the basic elements of the picture repeated, alternated? )
a) rhythm (do the elements recur regularly, or not?)
b) harmony (do the elements appear to join naturally, working together comfortably? Or are they incongruous, out of sync, and thus creating “dissonance?”)
c) variation (how does the artist take a basic element in the composition and use it again with slight or major changes?)

2. balance
a) symmetrical balance (if you drew an axis through the center, would each side be a mirror image of the other?)
b) asymmetrical balance (no mirror image, but still a “psychological” balance, or feeling of balance due to handling of space, line, form and color.

3. unity (does the piece seem complete? do all the elements work together toward meaning?)

4. focal area (is your eye immediately attracted to one point/form, or are there multiple areas that demand your attention?)

C. Other factors

1. perspective (is there an illusion of distance?)

2. Subject matter (realistic/representational or non-representational?)

3. dynamics (is the picture static, stable, placid? or in motion, violent?)

III. Analysis of three-dimensional art of sculpture involves:

A. Dimensionality

1. full round (Michaelangelo’s “David” )

2. low or high relief (how far does it protrude from the background?)

3. linear (mobiles, tubing)

B. Methods of execution

1. Subtraction ( artist carves the work out of a block of wood or stone)

2. Addition (artist builds up the work out of multiple materials)

3. Substitution (artist makes mold and casts the sculpture)

4. manipulation (artist shapes single material, like clay, with hands)

5. found (artist discovers an object and decides to present it as art)

6. ephemeral/conceptual sculpture (Christo’s transitory fabric art )

C. Composition

1. Elements
a) mass (the sculpture consists of actual volume and density; compare “David” with “Venus of Willendorf”
b) line and form (opposite of painting; line in sculpture can’t be understood apart from form.)
c) color (Sculptor may intentionally paint the work, or allow weather or oxidation to change it over time)
d) texture (is the surface rough or smooth?)

2. Principles
a) proportion (the relative relationship of shapes to one another; what ideal of proportion is operating?)
b) Repetition (rhythm, harmony and variation constitute repetition in sculpture as well as in the pictoral arts.)

3. Other Factors
a) Articulation (the way the eye is carried from one element to the next
b) Focal Area (what part, of all parts, is emphasized?)
c) Lighting and environment (direction and sources of light, and context in which work is exhibited affect our response to it)

IV. Analysis of three dimensional art of Architecture involves:

A. Structure (what system of construction is used to support the building?)

1. post and lintel

2. Arch
a) buttress
b) tunnel vault
c) groin vault
d) ribbed vault
e) dome with pendentives

3. cantilever

4. bearing wall (wall supports itself, floors, and roof)

5. skeleton frame (walls are attached to frame, like skin)

B. Materials (what materials have been used in the construction? How have they been combined to form the structure and decorative elements?)

1. stone

2. concrete

3. wood

4. steel

C. Scale and Proportion (how does the size of the example compare to the size of a human being? What emotions result from this scale? How do the elements of the building relate to each other in terms of their proportions?)

D. Context (What is the environment like in which this building is placed? Do the surrounding buildings and terrain harmonize or conflict with the design elements of the building?)

E. Space (What is the design of the interiors like? How do they relate to the exterior? Traffic flow? )

F. Climate (how does this building create shelter from the elements?)

G. Reaction (how do all the above elements combine to elicit a response from you? What is your emotional reaction to this building, and what causes it?)

Textbook and Companion Site

We will be using the SIXTH edition of Culture and Values, not the seventh.

Use this link to access the companion site: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=0534582273&discipline_number=37

The companion site allows you to access resources for each chapter, including the following:

  • flashcards
  • glossary
  • learning objectives
  • crossward puzzles
  • textbook online study guide (for mine, see this blog)
  • timeline
  • practice quizzes: TF and multiple choice

Please let me know if you have any problems accessing the site.


This is your new blog for this class. I will use it to give you study guides, course calendar updates, etc. You can use it to converse with me, and with your fellow classmates.

Check it often!