Perspectives: Art, Science and Spirituality

Lee Honors College, Western Michigan University
Dr. Lynn Underwood, Adjunct Professor
Course Calendar (subject to change)

Revised February 3, 2006


Reading List

Course Practicalities

Course Calendar

Daily Spiritual Experience Scale Home Page Home

Week 1: January 23



Practicalities-Computer and internet access confirmations

Science of Compassionate Love presentation- begin

Love as something that multiple perspective illuminate… diagram, definition.

Experiential/contemplative exercise – journal

Assignments for Jan 30:

May quiz on articles Jan 30

*Chapter Underwood, Oxford Press book read/notes

*Kindness of Strangers article

Journal assignments: poems/readings in handout

Week 2: Jan 30

Science Methods and COMPASSIONATE LOVE

Science research on Compassionate Love

Model – discussion and/or quiz

Experiential exercise/ memory imagination

Intro to nature of science

Assignments for Feb 6:

To read for next time

*Journaling and Health, JAMA

*2 Articles on SAT (from the Atlantic Monthly and other)

*Physicist essay: Kaku

Websites to view


*Science quotes

* Vanier ‘Becoming Human’ excerpt

*Book of Qualities: 2 selections, include “Confidence” and “Faith”

Week 3: Feb 6

Science and INSPIRATION/ Spirituality

Experiential exercises in class –Stickies and categories

Prep for Science project part one

Why and how does science give such good information on how things are?

Intro to science methods, interpretation

Key issues of clear question, multifactorial etiology

1) Qualitative and quantitative methods, confounding

2) Objectivity/subjectivity

Assignments for next week:

1) Science research project stage one compassionate love. – Research due week 4, write up due week 5.


* 3 - Book of Qualities, continued (Anxiety, Fear, Truth and pick one you really like in prep for class discussion week 5)

Week 4: Feb 13


Measurement - Qualitative, Quantitative – discussion


Science methods applications

Concept and measures of spirituality

Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale

Discussion of Project part one and Part 2

Discuss articles

Assignments for next week:

Science research project stage two – Data collection due week 5, writeup due week 7 ( after break)


* Chuang Tzu poems: Need to Win, The Bell Tower

* Astropix website

Week 5: Feb 20

Poetry and Science : THE SELF

Self-report and the nature of the self

Video : Creature Comforts

Damasio – Descarte’s Error discussion

Book of Qualities” discussion: sharing favorites- why, sharing commonalities with science

Exercise in class. Poetry and the self.

Read/discuss Billy Collins Intro to Poetry, read excerpts from Heaney Redress of Poetry - introduction- discuss

Exercises: contemplation and poetry

Science project due this week.

Week 6: Feb 27 Spring break

Assignments for March 6:

*write up part 2 science quantitative study/survey

*”Book of Qualities” written piece: poetry and the self.

*read sestina Elizabeth Bishop

*write sestina

Journals: Poems

Week 7: March 6

The Impact of Poetry: Practical POETRY

Heaney: Redress of Poetry

Experiential exercises Book of Qualities

Video: “Charades”

Discussion of Science projects/ science methods – how does it compare with the poetry?

Discuss sestina

Introduce art project… start thinking

Introduce Film: what to watch for

March 14 due:

* Bring music to next class to play and describe impact for you (compassionate love, reflect on music and time)

*View film this week… afterwards note for discussion: time, comp love, happiness/contentment.


Film and Poems

Week 8: March 14 MUSIC AND FILM


Discuss film in class

Share music in class

Discuss articles read

Introduction to Williams book…

Experiential exercises

Assignment for next week:

*Begin Charles Williams book – read chapters 1-5

*Student's first person descriptions of characters


Williams chapts 1, 2, 3, and 4-5

Week 9: March 20

Williams : TIME AND LOVE

Physics and Time

Williams discussion: articulation, character (students)

Nature of Happiness

Time and Eternity: Time in Clinical Medicine

Wondering where the lions are.

Assignments for next week:

Read chapters 6-10 of Williams


Chapt 6-10 Williams


Week 10: March 27

FICTION Williams: the self

Tape of Williams, book passages,

Discuss Williams Chapt 6 –10

Intro to visual art

Journaling with visual art

Exercise: Memory

Assignments for next week:

*Articles Social Science and Cognition- eg nodding study

*Implicit Association Test Harvard website

Journals: Hoving book on reserve– Art

Week 11: April 3


Dance me to the end of love

Art exercise


*Ivory tower of tearlessness

* Joseph Pieper, Only the lover sings

Journals: Hoving

Week 12: April 10

Art Projects

Exercise memory

Assignments for next week:

*Selected articles, cognitive science, social science

*Companionship of a Poem article/ Milosz

Journals: 3 poems/art/natural observation or presentations

Week 13: April 17

Art, Science and Spirituality: DECISIONMAKING

Pulling it all together (see diagram)

Discussion of contribution of cognitive science

Reviewing what we have covered

Preparation for exam
Discuss decision-making, quality of life, compassionate love, and time.

Course applications to life and other coursework.

Essay exam –integrative application of course- open book/notes.

Week 14: April 24 Exam

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