The Virgin Mary in European Painting

Marian art is a central theme in the history of European painting. This seminar will look at the history of how Mary has been depicted in the painting of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and in more modern movements. It will discuss these paintings not only from the perspective of Christian theology and Marian devotion, but also from the point of view of the academic history of art. This seminar has no readings; it will consist of close examination of high-resolution images.

Dates: Wednesdays on October 28, November 11, and December 2.
Time: 5:30-6:45pm PST
Location: Zoom

**This seminar is free and open to all Cal, GTU, and St. Mary’s students.

Women and the Intellectual Life

Is the twenty-first-century woman different from her male counterparts in any unique or substantial way? The feminist movement began with a radical claim: women are suited for every profession. Against this claim, opponents argued that women were capable of only one crucially important vocation – the making and care of home and family. Almost two centuries later, these two categories continue to narrowly define the “successful woman.” But is this dichotomy the only choice? This seminar will examine a third and less traveled road. It will call into question both assumptions by exploring the writings of philosopher Edith Stein, who, following a religious conversion, offered an alternative path to feminine fulfillment. For copies of the short readings, please contact

Dates: Tuesdays on 2.19, 2.26, 3.5, 3.12
Time: 5:30-7:00pm

Discussion Schedule:

2/19: “No Happy Harmony” and “Womanhood
2/26: “The Ethos of Women’s Professions”
3/5: “The Significance of Women’s Intrinsic Value”
3/12: “Women’s Life in Light of Eternity” and Josef Pieper, “Concupiscence of the Eyes

All Edith Stein are readings are from her collection, Essays on Woman.

Location: 2134 Allston Way

**This seminar is free and open to all Cal, GTU, and St. Mary’s students.

How Does Architecture Imitate Nature?

How Does Architecture Imitate Nature?

Architecture, together with music, is usually quoted as a counterexample to Aristotle’s thesis that “art imitates nature.” “Representational” theories of art seem to fail in explaining architecture. In this seminar we will find that, contrary to these objections, there are important ways in which architecture does imitate nature. We will have to ask what “nature” means and distinguish three fundamental meanings of the term, all of which are applicable to architecture. The seminar will consist of lectures, illustrated by slides. There is no reading.  This seminar will be taught by Prof. Anselm Ramelow.

Dates: Wednesdays on 9.7, 9.14, 9.21, 9.28
Time: 5:30-7:00 PM