AthensWeek-Long Study Tour | Philosophy Program

Required Course(s)
Religious Mythos and Philosophical Logos
Fall/Spring semester

Athens, the birthplace of Western rational thought, will be our classroom as we explore the transition from mythological to rational thinking, and visit the sites named in Homer’s epics, the theatres of the Athenian dramatists, and the schools of early Greek philosophy. We will follow in the footsteps of many of those figures that have shaped the Western mind: Homer, Herodotus, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the biblical Paul.

We will be based in the capital city of philosophy, Athens, but also have the opportunity to journey to the surrounding areas to further explore the Greek philosophical tradition. Supplementing the week’s itinerary will be visits to Delphi, where the Delphic oracle declared Socrates the wisest man in Ancient Greece; Corinth, where Oedipus was said to be raised and where Paul later preached the Christian message; and ancient Argos (Nafplion), where the mythical King Agamemnon ruled. Our aim throughout the study tour will be to experience these foundational texts in a new and vivid way, as we literally stand where these figures are said to have stood. Furthermore, as we discuss the concrete struggles in which western thought was born, we seek to understand why we human beings do what we do and live as we live.

Tour Objectives

  • Experience and imagine the Greek world in the context of the course texts
  • Bring the tensions of Ancient Greece into dialogue with current philosophical and theological challenges
  • Hear how these concrete sites relate to universal ideas from some of Greece’s leading scholars

Possible Activities

  • Explore the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lycaeum, Mars Hill where Paul preached, the prison of Socrates, and Agora Museum
  • Discuss Nietzsche at the Theatre of Dionysus
  • Visit the oracle in Delphi