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Recognizing the Four Cornerstones of Western Culture

Originally presented at Seaver College's spring Scholarship and Research Symposium, undergraduate students Emily Audras, Sophie Collins, Mirielle Cox, Serah Hodson, Ryan Kenney, Josh Leow, Sophie Nelson, Brandon Oddo, Amber Otto, Audrey Robison, Sharon Stevens, and Sam Torre developed a curriculum that helps students recognize the four cornerstones of Western Culture while studying abroad.

The Plato, Pilgrimage, and the Polyfocal Conspectus curriculum offers students a framework within which they can plan their “pilgrimages” to sites that have significantly impacted the Western tradition. Thus, while traveling, students will be able to better identify the cultural movements which led to the artwork, architecture, and other great sites they are able to witness while abroad.

By applying the curriculum, students become more than tourists abroad; they become pilgrims investigating the foundation of Western thought and culture. Partaking in a pilgrimage allows students to develop a polyfocal conspectus, the ability to see works of art, literature, or science through many different perspectives, particularly through the four cornerstones.

Where to View Four Cornerstones

North America

  • Washington, DC
  • New York
  • California


  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Jordan
  • Israel

South America

  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • Brazil


  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • France
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Ireland