The Humanities Reading

The Humanities Reading List

Sattler College’s core curriculum in the humanities consists of four components:

  1. An intensive introduction to expository writing, rhetoric, and the tradition of liberal arts education
  2. A three-semester sequence of lectures and discussion-based seminars devoted to the key philosophical, literary, and artistic works of the western intellectual tradition, from Antiquity to the modern era
  3. A three-semester sequence of seminars on the Old and New Testaments, the foundational texts of Christian theology, and apologetics
  4. A survey of Global Christianity, equipping students with understanding of the history and life of the Church in non-western societies  

Students will grapple with the core texts that generation upon generation has returned to read – in times of war and peace, in times of plague and plenty – in order to gain special insights into our human struggles and to reclaim our highest ideals:

  • The Bible
  • Homer, Iliad
  • Homer, Odyssey
  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia
  • Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
  • Herodotus, Histories
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Plato, Apology, Euthyphro, Crito, The Republic
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Poetics
  • Cicero, On Duties, On the Orator
  • Livy, The History of Rome
  • Virgil, The Aeneid
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses
  • Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind, On the Shortness of Life, On Mercy, On Liberal and Vocational Studies
  • Plutarch, Parallel Lives, On Listening, On Contentment
  • Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
  • Athanasius, Life of St. Antony
  • The Rules of St. Basil and St. Benedict
  • Augustine, Confessions, City of God, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed
  • Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Cassiodorus, Introduction to Divine and Humane Letters
  • The Song of Roland
  • Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion
  • Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalicon
  • Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons on the Song of Songs
  • Aquinas, Summa Theologica
  • Mechthild of Magdeburg, The Flowing Light of the Godhead
  • Dante, The Divine Comedy
  • Petrarch, The Ascent of Mont Ventoux, Secretum
  • Boccaccio, The Decameron
  • Catherine of Siena, Dialogue
  • Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  • Vergerio, The Character and StudiesBefitting a Free-Born Youth
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Erasmus, Enchiridion, Paraclesis, The Complaint of Peace
  • Luther, Two Kinds of Righteousness, The Freedom of a Christian, Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Large Catechism
  • Sattler, The Schleitheim Confession
  • Calvin, The Institutes
  • Ursinus, The Heidelberg Catechism
  • Teresa of Avila, Autobiography
  • Las Casas, In Defense of the Indians
  • The Book of Common Prayer
  • Shakespeare,Richard II, King Lear
  • de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
  • Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Blaise Pascal, Pensées
  • Hobbes, Leviathan
  • van Braght, Martyrs’ Mirror
  • van Schurman, Eukleria
  • Milton, Samson Agonistes
  • Molière, The Misanthrope
  • Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Locke, Second Treatise on Government
  • Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, The Social Contract, Emile
  • Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, The Wealth of Nations
  • Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, What is Enlightenment?
  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
  • Franklin, Autobiography
  • Hamilton, Madison & Jay, The Federalist Papers
  • Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Blake, Poems
  • Wordsworth & Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads
  • Austen, Sense and Sensibility
  • Hegel, Phenomenology of the Spirit 
  • Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • Marx, Capital
  • Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov
  • Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
  • DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

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