I share this with some embarrassment, since it is so very eclectic and I fear not as thought-out as it should be. I’ve slowly fumbled my way to this list through trial and error: how much can they read, how much will they read, does it set up the topic, can I make an easy quiz or test out of it. All I know for sure is that it beats every textbook hands down.
For my 11th grade ethics class, I live in perpetual fear that a Thomist will learn what I have done to Aquinas. Here, with 9th grade doctrine, it’s more a matter of the CDF, and while they have changed the name they are still the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Gulp.
Without further ado:
Happy with my start:
Plato, Republic VII (anyone can guess what this is, even if they don’t know the citation)
St. Anselm, Proslogion 1 (to start talking about faith in ways that drag them away from the formulaic and the culturally stupid)
St. Anselm, Proslogion 2 (because everyone should know this argument)
St. Anselm, Proslogion 6-10 (to answer the Homer Simpson question about God and to learn some really cool moves Anselm makes)
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I Q2 a3 resp para 1 (First Way–unbeatable for getting kids to buy in)
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I Q3-5 (excerpts to get the basic idea of Simplicity and Convertibility of Transcendentals)
Now things get a bit rocky:
CCC 50-73 (Revelation)
CCC 74-119 (Transmission of Revelation. Some elements omitted. I’ve tried Dei Verbum to replace these weeks, but it’s a streeeetch)
St. Augustine, de Trinitate I.iv-vi (nice quick survey of some heresies through the Creed plus a simple syllogism against Arius)
CCC 150-163 (Faith redux. The one CCC selection that I think is pretty good, minus the blah part about Science. Good synergy with Proslogion 1)
CCC 300ish (Creation–I stopped using a reading for this and just lecture it)
CCC 355-379 (Human Nature)
CCC (309-314) +Job 1 (Evil and Suffering)
Genesis 3 (Original Sin and Fall)
Now things start to pick up again:
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (the Trilemma)
St. Athanasius, de Incarnatione 54 (7 paradoxes on the Incarnation–I have skipped this the last few years. There’s also a short St. Gregory of Nyssa reading from OCM to go with)
St. Anselm, Cur Deus Homo (this is a 3+ week unit which involves the longest continuous reading we do, about half of Book I. I lecture some of the missing sections for time and difficulty)
Mariology–no reading and I’d really like to have one.
Spe Salvi 45-46 (great purgatory reading for our 4 Last Things unit)
And then, at the end, Sermon on the Mount and selections from St. Paul. It’s truly appalling how unfamiliar they are with the elementary teachings of Jesus. Tell a kid that Jesus said to love our enemies and they freak out. Poor in spirit? Isn’t that like a character defect or something? It’s a scary world for trying to teach the faith.
My biggest hindsight concern is how little we talk about virtues and grace. That gets covered in the next two years but there is a sequencing issue with it. To be continued.
[Get a word count on these for comparison?]