During Lifelong Book Club’s discussion of The Hamilton Affair, the question arose: Is it better to sacrifice one’s life rather than one’s honor? In 1801, Alexander Hamilton’s 19-year-old son Philip died in a duel to protect his father’s honor. Philip refused to take a shot. In 1804, Alexander Hamilton was challenged to a duel by Aaron Burr, who blamed Hamilton for his loss of the 1800 presidency. Hamilton was mortally wounded by Burr. Historians speculate that Hamilton intended to throw away his shot in order to satisfy his moral and political codes. Do we 21st-Century citizens live in a society where spirituality and public decision-making, our moral and political codes, are intertwined? In this course, we will discuss that question, keeping the focus on the “Founding Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters of the American Revolution from 1776 – 1836.” Participants will draw on their own reading, film/tv watching, etc., to develop arguments toward informal debates that will be held in the third class.


Beth Ramos

Beth’s professional interests in Moral Development and Family Life and her personal love of studying history are two factors that qualify her to teach the course. She will draw on her many conversations as a teacher, a college Campus Minister and Director of Religious Education in various communities in this course. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, an MEd from Rutgers University, and an MA from Boston College School of Pastoral Counseling and Religious Education