Worldviews Through Movies, Music, Art and Social Media
This course examines contemporary worldviews and issues by considering the themes and ideas in “popular” or “classic” movies, art works and written works, as well as in contemporary social media. While the various media will generally be entertaining, the discussions will be academic and relevant to address the current worldviews issues of the current generation of teens and young adults. We will consider major western worldviews (e.g., deism, naturalism, secular humanism, existentialism, post-modernism, and others) in the historical, philosophical, and cultural context that is essential for understanding how they affect us today. We will also consider the major worldviews of the East and Middle East. While the discussions involve some history and philosophy, the analysis is from a biblical perspective, and the purpose is uncovering how these worldviews still influence us today, including inside the church. We will discuss contemporary worldview-related issues, such as faith, reason, and science; creation, intelligent design, and evolution; abortion, cloning, and euthanasia; identity and Self; equality, freedom, and rights; nature vs. nurture; free will and determinism; transition from Christianity to secularism in the West; and others. Throughout the course, there will be particular emphasis on understanding individual identity, purpose, and worth from various worldviews, past and present. There is also an emphasis on considering historical and contemporary views of liberty, rights and responsibility. Discussions will be interactive, and will respectfully consider differing major perspectives of each issue. All topics and discussions affirm the centrality of salvation by grace through faith, and the inerrant authority of the Bible.
Media Content Note: The movies, TV shows, art, readings and social media in this course will be selected to uncover selected worldviews and issues. Movies may include: Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Avatar; Macbeth; Tempest; Frankenstein; Man for All Seasons; Inception; Beautiful Mind; Manchurian Candidate; Contact; Bad Seed; Wizard of Oz; Life of Pi; Miracle on 34th Street; Arrival; Sense and Sensibility; Last Samurai; Avatar; Free Guy; Truman Show; 2001: A Space Odyssey; and others. TV show episodes may include: West Wing; Star Trek TNG; Twilight Zone; and others. Access to YouTube is required. Also included will be art (classical to modern) and music (all genres and time periods). There is also some reading of essays and articles. Mature themes in media are often portrayed through unbiblical language, attitudes, and behaviors. While every effort is made to avoid sex and gratuitous violence, the media is chosen because it interacts in a useful way with specific challenging themes in a fallen world, and the class discussions will include these mature and complex themes. Viewing each movie or media is optional and always at the discretion of the student and parent, but students who are not ready to or prefer not to interact with popular culture in this manner should not enroll in this course. There is also optional reading for the student who wants to go further in studying the academic aspects of the worldview and philosophy.
Concurrent Course Required: This course is offered at a special price and is available only to students taking at least one TPS core high school course.
Credit and Participation: Students may take this course for graded credit (as a Bible/Worldview credit) or as an ungraded audit. For graded credit, there is required participation, weekly movies and media, and two required essays. For ungraded audit there are no requirements.