Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Influences on the Honors Residential College

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As with any modern community, there are certain freedoms that need be alienated in order to live in peace with fellow neighbors. It is the HRC covenant, the Guide to Community Living, and the prayers of Taizé give meaning to the community known as the Honors Residential College (HRC). The texts each serve as evidence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract Theory in work, each including a type of self-sacrifice for the greater good and solidification of the community. This analysis will begin by reviewing the obligations stated in the HRC covenant. The HRC covenant mentions that as a community the people must “commit [themselves] to being a community of faith seeking understanding” (Covenant & Expectations). In committing to this statement, the people are asked to open their minds to new ideas and to put aside old prejudice. In saying that the residents of the community must commit to seeking understanding, sharing, and loving one another, they are in effect giving up their freedoms to not do these things. Additionally, HRC residents are expected to participate in discussions, prayer, service, and live in good will continuously while living as a member of that community. Indeed, they must “devote [themselves] actively” to providing a friendly, warm atmosphere (C & E). Rousseau’s Social Contact Theory explains the covenant in that it demonstrates an undertaking of responsibilities for being a part of the HRC community. Rousseau contends that “Some form of association

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