The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies expects of its faculty excellent teaching sustained and enhanced by ongoing scholarship and significant research.
CANES, as part of the College of Arts and Sciences, expects of its students a breadth of learning in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Through the liberal arts in particular, students develop the skills to think critically about the issues, events, ideas, and values which abound in the human experience.
CANES devotes itself to the core subjects of the liberal arts. The department espouses as its mission the development of students' critical thinking skills through the study of Classical and ancient Near Eastern languages, literatures, philosophies, religions, history and material culture as students meet and respond to the works and expressions of ancient peoples. These studies broaden a student's awareness of diversity, both in the United States and throughout the world, and develop perspective as students learn about the present in relation to the past, and their own language and culture in relation to the languages and cultures of others. CANES demands that students respond orally and in writing to the literature and artifacts they study, and these assignments build creative and technical skills in presenting ideas to a wider audience.
For students in the greater College, our mission means that the department teaches a variety of languages at many levels and offers courses in literatures and cultures both in the original languages and in English.
For our language majors, our mission requires students' appropriation of the chosen language through advanced study of the language, its literature, and the culture(s) which used it, as well as an introduction to the basic tools for further work in the field.
For classical civilization majors, our mission requires a broader assimilation of Greek and Roman literature and culture, including history, philosophy, mythology, and material culture.
The Mission of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies is in complete harmony with (and mandated by) the Jesuit Constitutions of 1548:
§447: Moreover, since both the learning of theology and the use of it require (especially in these times) knowledge of humane letters [footnote: Under the heading of humane letters is understood, in addition to grammar, what pertains to rhetoric, poetry, and history.] and of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, there should be capable professors of these languages, and in sufficient number.