To pour forth benefits for
the common good is divine.

– Benjamin Franklin

Perry Scholars-Collegium Institute

Engaging Faith & Reason in the University and the Modern World

Partners for Sacred Places

Empowering community-serving religious organizations.

Common Ground for Common Good

Elevating Contemporary Church-State Debates

Program for Empirical Studies and Surveys

Examining Religion and spirituality empirically

Transnational Religious Organizations

Exploring global religion and transnational FBOs

Spring & Summer 2022 Events

Completely Free? The Relevance of John Stuart Mill to Liberalism Today

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:30pm | Benjamin Franklin Room (HH218), Houston Hall,
University of Pennsylvania

Join Professor John Peter DiIulio’s talk and discussion on his new book, Completely Free: The Relevance of John Stuart Mill to Liberalism Today, where he argues that Mill’s apparently fragmented and incoherent ethical, moral, and political ideas are in reality all part of one unified philosophical vision; and, moreover, that this philosophical vision is fundamentally linked to liberalism.


Godless? On Atheism and Theism in the Modern World

Mondays, July 5-July 26, 2022 | 4:30 – 5:45pm

For our July reading group on Genealogies of Modernity and Catholic Thought, we will explore evolutions of atheism and how it developed through the modern world from something almost impossible to believe to something almost hard not to. To learn more about this seminar, click the button below


“What is Life?” International and Interdisciplinary Magi Conference

Thursday, June 16 – Saturday, June 18, 2022

The discovery of untold numbers of planets outside our solar system that seem to meet certain biological requirements make it statistically likely that there is life on other worlds. This has profound implications for our understanding of life, ourselves and our place in the universe and raises questions across world cultures and religious traditions. This summer, scientists, philosophers and theologians are coming together for an international, multi-day collaborative conversation to discuss these new frontiers of science, reason, and faith. To learn more about this event, click the button below.


Professor Celia Deane-Drummond (Oxford University) on “A Theological Exploration of Human Becoming: Belonging to this World and the Next” (Opening Lecture of the Magi Conference)

Thursday, June 16, 2022 | 7:00-8:30pm

This lecture will tackle the question of what is life through an exploration of the evolutionary currents of human becoming as both grounded in this world and yet orientated towards transcendence and the development of virtues. To learn more about this event, click the button below.


"No Unsacred Places": The Rhythms, Rituals, and Routines of the Creative Life

Thursday, June 2, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:30pm

Join the Collegium Institute for an online conversation exploring the rhythms, routines, and rituals of a painter, poet, sculptor, & writer on Thursday June 2nd via Zoom. To learn more about this webinar, click the button below.


The Way of Medicine: Ethics and the Healing Profession — A Medical Humanities Reception with Farr Curlin, MD

Friday, May 6, 2022 | 5:00 – 8:00pm

Collegium Institute is honored to host Farr A. Curlin, MD for a Medical Humanities lecture and reception this spring. This event, The Way of Medicine: Ethics and Healing, will convene local doctors, academics, and medical students for a conversation about medical ethics. To learn more about this event, click the button below.


Anscombe on Money, Debt, and Usury: An Evening Conversation with Graham Hubbs

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:30pm

Collegium Institute and PRRUCS are pleased to welcome Graham Hubbs, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Politics and Philosophy at the University of Idaho, for a lecture on GEM Anscombe’s philosophy of money, debt, and usury. This lecture will take place live in person at Penn and will also be live-streamed. To learn more about this event, click the button below.


Anscombe &: The History of Philosophy according to Elizabeth Anscombe

Tuesdays, Jan 18, Feb 15, March 15, April 5, 2022 | 7:00 – 8:00pm

In this reading series, we will consider G.E.M. Anscombe in dialogue with major thinkers from the history of philosophy. This reading group will be facilitated by Terence Sweeney, Ph.D, the John and Daria Barry Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about this webinar, click the button below.

As Earth Without Water: An Evening with Novelist Katy Carl

Monday, December 13, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:00pm

In this evening conversation, we will encounter the debut novel by Katy Carl, As Earth without Water. Christopher Beha, editor of Harper’s Magazine describes the novel as a “sharp and moving meditation on freedom, choice, and the creative life. Katy will read from her novel and participate in a discussion about the text with Joshua Hren, editor-in-chief of Wiseblood Books.

Catholic MidCentury Modern: The Church & Other Possible Modernities

Monday, December 6, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:30pm

In the ferment of the mid 20th-Century, Catholic writers and artists sought to develop a new, distinctly Catholic, modernity. They navigated the political challenges of fascism, communism, and liberalism. In this event, we look to the history of MidCentury Catholicism, with figures like Georges Rouault, the Maritains, Dorothy Day, and Claude McKay, and its response to the cultural, intellectual, and political ferment of the 1920s-60s. What can we learn from these great figures as 21st Century people grapple with the challenges of our century? 

The Women Are Up to Something

Tuesday, November 4, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:15pm

Join Collegium Institute for a conversation with Benjamin J.B. Lipscomb, a philosophy professor at Houghton College specializing in ethical theory, the history of ethics, biomedical ethics, agrarianism, and legal interpretation. He is principally concerned with character formation. Lipscomb has contributed to a collection on Immanuel Kant, and his current project is a group biography on Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch.

Anscombe and Moral Prohibition

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:15pm

Join Collegium Institute for a special evening lecture featuring Dr. Candace Vogler, David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. The topics of Dr. Vogler’s wide-ranging research include ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, and more.

Elizabeth Anscombe famously suggested that if we couldn’t understand the basis of moral prohibition, then we couldn’t do moral philosophy at all. Like Peter Geach, she held that Aristotle was of no help in understanding moral prohibition.

Anscombe &: The History of Philosophy according to Elizabeth Anscombe

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:00pm

In this reading series, we will consider G.E.M. Anscombe in dialogue with major thinkers from the history of philosophy. Where Anscombe could have avoided such engagement (following her teacher Wittgenstein or certain trends in Anglo-Analytic philosophy) she instead regularly grappled with major figures from the canon. With each reading, we will take up Anscombe’s relation with a certain figure and a central question that she was trying to unfold through her conversation with the masters.

Probing the Shallows of the Unknown: A Magi Project Evening Conversation

April 8, 2021 | 7:00 – 9:00pm

At the heart of the human quest for understanding lies a paradox: the more we discover, the more we realize how much is yet unknown. From a young age, Marcelo Gleiser writes of his attunement to this paradox: “Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, I couldn’t possibly neglect the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean right in front of me…To me the beach was a portal into the unknown. I marveled at the joining of the ocean and the sky at the horizon, the huge ships emerging from behind top-first, proof of the curvature of the Earth. There was more to it than just the sand and the waves. There was a vast network of living creatures underneath the surface, mysterious and unreachable.”

The State of Religious Freedom: A 2021 Global Survey

March 23, 2021 | 10am – 12:00pm

This past year, religion has been re-envisioned in many quarters as part of a public health problem. What implications does that have for the future of religious freedom? Must communities hereafter confront a difficult decision to make themselves either safe for religion or safe from it? How does this issue in the United States look different when approached from a global perspective? These questions and more will be considered by a multi-faith panel of leading thinkers, activists, and international field workers.

Religion after the Pandemic: Forecasting the Global Future of Faith

March 5, 2021 | 12pm – 1:30pm

Religion after the Pandemic

Even before 2020, religions worldwide were enduring a period of turbulence, marked by rapid demographic change, a transformation of attitude to gender and sexuality, and a larger crisis of institutional and organizational faith. Already, we were hearing grim prophecies about imminent secularization, and the growth of those citing their religious affiliation as “None.” Since 2020, the pandemic has raised fundamental questions about collective worship, about participation, and how we “do” religion. What will all this mean for the future of faith, not just in the United States, but globally? 

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