“The Unborn: A History Of Their Own” with Dr. Anthony Joseph
Class will meet in HBU's University Academic Center (UAC), Rm. 150, every Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00-9:00pm, from June 2 to July 3.
Can the history of the unborn even be studied?
The unborn are silent, to be sure. But in this course we will use others’ words and deeds concerning the unborn to give the unborn a history of their own.
We will move swiftly but coherently through the great expanse of the Western tradition on unborn life. After beginning with pagan, Jewish, and Christian views of the unborn in the ancient and medieval periods, we will explore the “new embryology” of the early modern era (17th-19th centuries)—a cluster of scientific discoveries and philosophical shifts in perspective that gradually but profoundly altered the Western understanding of unborn life. Finally, we will set our sights on the United States. We will examine how the professions—law, medicine, and the ministry—contributed to American understandings of the unborn, and how trends in fertility and family formation, popular perceptions of the unborn, and the experience of abortion all shaped the status of the unborn in the decades before the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973) legalizing abortion.
This course will enrich your understanding of the unborn in the light of the Christian faith and better equip you to engage American culture and civic life on the status of the unborn. For a brief article by Dr. Joseph that addresses some of the themes of this course, go to The City Online
Please join us on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings this June, 6:00-9:00pm.
About the professor
Dr. Joseph is Associate Professor of History at Houston Baptist University. A student of American legal history, he is author of From Liberty To Liberality: The Transformation of the Pennsylvania Legislature, 1776-1820
, and a contributing editor to the landmark series, A Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800.
He is currently working on a legal history of abortion in the United States. Dr. Joseph lives in southwest Houston with his wife, Jessica, and their three children.