History of Western Thought and Culture: An Archetypal Perspective

School of Consciousness and Transformation PARP 6517 3.00

This course explores and analyzes the history of Western thought and culture from the ancient Greeks to the present. Using the narrative provided by The Passion of the Western Mind as the basic text, we will examine the major figures, ideas, and eras of Western intellectual and cultural history both on their own terms and as aspects of a larger unfolding drama that has shaped our own historical moment. To help illuminate that history, this course will apply the insights of archetypal astrological analysis, examining the correlations between planetary alignments and the archetypal patterns of history and biography. Each week we will explore a particular era (such as the Hellenistic age, the Renaissance, or the Scientific Revolution) in terms of the major planetary cycles of the time, the birth charts of leading figures (Descartes, Nietzsche, de Beauvoir), and personal transits for major turning points (Augustine’s conversion experience, Petrarch’s climbing Mont Ventoux, Galileo’s turning his telescope to the heavens). We will also strive to discern the deeper significance of this long historical trajectory when seen through the lens of an archetypal evolutional perspective.

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