There are no official prerequisites for any of our classes, but the Advanced Lit class was originally created as a follow-up to the chronological Great Books study covered by Lit 1 through Lit 4. The perfect scenario would have students start in Lit 1 in 8th grade, finish Lit 4 in 11th grade, and enroll in Advanced Lit for their senior year. 

The approach is different here, focusing on worldview as it is expressed in literature and preparing students for college-level literary analysis and interpretation. Our goal is to get Christian students ready to encounter a distinctly non-Christian outlook in their college years. 

We read two books on literary analysis: C.S. Lewis's ingenious work An Experiment in Criticism and Richard Foster's engaging and practical How to Read Literature Like a Professor. These two books, along with Sire's The Universe Next Door will shape the way we look at literature for the rest of the course. Sire's book actually becomes something of a spine, examining various worldviews as they evolve over time and the literature that springs from them. We'll read books that come from a clearly Judeo-Christian perspective, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Scarlet Letter, and Heart of Darkness. We'll discuss deism (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, sort of), naturalism (Call of the Wild), nihilism (Waiting for Godot) and existentialism (The Plague and The Fault in Our Stars). We'll also talk about what Sire calls eastern pantheistic monism (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and postmodernism (Life of Pi and Things Fall Apart). 

For 2016-17, this class meets live on Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time. All sessions will be recorded and made available to enrolled students. 

Click here for Class Session Calendar

Syllabus includes:

  • An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis
  • The Universe Next Door, James Sire
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Richard Foster
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorn
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  • Call of the Wild, Jack London
  • Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
  • The Plague, Albert Camus
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Greene
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe