Sample of Past PRRUCS Events

Mathematics for Human Flourishing with Francis Su

Thursday, December 1, 2022 | 7:00 pm ET | University of Pennsylvania, Amado Recital Hall in Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street, Philadelphia PA, 19104

Join Collegium Institute and the Penn Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society for our Fall 2022 Magi Project Lecture featuring Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and a former president of the Mathematical Association of America.


The Professional Life and the Good Life with Arthur Brooks

Thursday: November 10, 2022 | 5:00 pm | The Study at University City, 20 S 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104

To open its 10th Anniversary commemoration events, Collegium Institute will host a reception featuring remarks by Professor Arthur Brooks of Harvard University on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 5pm in University City.  This event highlights Collegium’s “Professions and the Good Life” initiative which brings together its programs in Legal Humanities, Medical Humanities, and the Philosophy of Finance.


The Art We Live With: Seeking, Prioritizing, and Cultivating Beauty in the Everyday

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 | 12:00 pm ET | Via Zoom

On Oct. 5, The Collegium Institute and Dappled Things hosted this online Ars Vivendi Initiative event which brought together a diversity of voices to explore the need to prioritize, make, and seek beauty in our everyday lives, beyond the walls of museums and concert halls. In this recorded virtual event, Ars Vivendi Arts Initiative Director, Jess Sweeney, engages in conversation with: – James K.A. Smith, editor-in-chief of Image Journal & Professor of Philosophy at Calvin University – Shemaiah Gonzalez, a writer & editor based out of Seattle – John Herreid, graphic designer, illustrator, & catalogue manager at Ignatius Press – Marina Gross-Hoy, a writer, Museum Studies Ph.D. candidate, and mother based out of Montreal This online event was co-sponsored by Dappled Things, Image Journal, the Lumen Christi Institute, PRRUCS, Nova Forum, the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies Department, and Wellspring: A Mother Artist Project.


Anscombe on Action & Ethics: Virtual Seminar

Wednesdays: Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 30, Feb. 22, March 29, April 29, 2022 | 7:00 pm | Via Zoom (fully virtual)

This reading series considers the pioneering work on action and ethics of Elizabeth Anscombe, one of the seminal philosophers of the 20th century, and perhaps the greatest female philosopher of all time.

This reading group will be facilitated by Dr. John Peter DiIulio, the James N. Perry Scholar of Philosophy, Politics, and Society at the University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. Paul Musso, an Anscombe scholar and lecturer in Penn’s Philosophy Department.


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 Moral and Political Vision of John Stuart Mill, 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? 

The Legacies of Oscar Romero

November 16th, 2018:

  • Edgardo Colon-Emeric, Duke Divinity School
  • Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, University of Pennsylvania
  • Frederick C. Bauerschmidt, Loyola University Maryland

    To Whom do Children Belong?

    October 25th, 2018: Speakers:

    • Melissa Moschella, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics, Columbia University
    • Sigal Ben-Porath, Professor of Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division, University of Pennsylvania
    • Ferdous Jahan, Associate Director of Fox Leadership International, University of Pennsylvania

        Faith in Democracy?

        September 21st, 2018: Speaker: Moss Ntlha, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa

            A Female School of Analytic Philosophy?

            September 13th, 2018:

            • Rachael Wiseman, University of Liverpool
            • Clare Mac Cumhaill, Durham University
            • moderated by Karen Detlefsen, University of Pennsylvania

                  Conversations in Science, Faith, and Philosophy about the Origins of our Universe

                  June 25th to 29th, 2018: Speakers:

                  • John Farrell, Author of the book: The Day Without Yesterday: Lemaitre, Einstein, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology
                  • William Carroll, Thomas Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, University of Oxford
                  • James Platania, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Seton Hall University
                  • Joseph Laracy, Instructor, Seton Hall University
                  • Don Lincoln, Senior Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
                  • David Charbonneau, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University
                  • Jim Peebles, Albert Einstein Professor of Science, Princeton University

                          Genealogies of Modernity II: Possible Modernities between Medieval and Enlightenment

                          June 11th to 15th, 2018:

                          • Karen Detlefsen, Professor of Philosophy and Education, University of Pennsylvania
                          • Ulrich Lehner, Professor of History and Theology, Marquette University
                          • Ryan McDermott, Professor of Literature, University of Pittsburgh
                          • Christopher Nygren, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Pittsburgh
                          • Eileen Reeves, Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
                          • Naomi Waltham-Smith, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Pennsylvania

                                    Science and Religion: The Myth of Conflict

                                    April 24th, 2018: Speaker:  Stephen Barr, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware

                                              Did Liberalism Fail?

                                              March 27th, 2018: Speaker: Patrick Deneen, Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies, University of Notre Dame

                                              State vs. Individual? Robert Nisbet and the Freedom of Association

                                              February 21st, 2018: Speaker: Luke Sheahan, Post-Doctoral Associate of Political Science, Duke University

                                              Darwin, God, and the Cosmos: Is Faith Still Relevant in a Scientific World?

                                              November 30th, 2017:

                                              • Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology, Brown University
                                              • Michael Weisberg, Professor and Chair of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania

                                              The Legacy of the Reformation After 500 Years

                                              October 25th, 2017:

                                              • Carlos Eire, Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University
                                              • Margo Todd, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

                                              Genealogies of Modernity

                                              July 3rd to 7th, 2017:

                                              • Ryan McDermott, Professor of Literature, University of Pittsburgh
                                              • Carlos Eire, Professor of History, Yale University

                                              Seeing Reality: Coversations in Science, Faith & Philosophy

                                              June 5th to 9th, 2017:

                                              • Andrew Pinsent, Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford
                                              • Hans Halvorson, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University
                                              • Karin Öberg, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University
                                              • Marie I George, Professor of Philosophy, St. John’s University
                                              • Thadeusz Pacholczyk, Director of Education, The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia

                                              Art and Morality: On the Relationship between Aesthetics and Ethics

                                              April 5th, 2017: Speaker: Roger Scruton, a philosopher, public intellectual and author of over 40 books

                                              Fall Faculty Colloquia Series: Between Justice and Mercy

                                              Fall 2016, between October and December: 5 sessions

                                              How Catholic Places Serve Civic Purposes: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Economic “Halo Effects”

                                              November 30th, 2016: Joseph P. Tierney, PRRUCS Resident Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program released a PRRUCS report that estimates the annual economic impact of Catholic community-serving organizations in Philadelphia. The report was released during an event on University of Pennsylvania’s campus featuring Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and a panel of distinguished guests including PRRUCS Senior Fellows Dr. Ram Cnaan and A. Robert Jaeger as well as Lorraine M. Knight, Executive Director of Nutritional Development Services in Philadelphia.

                                              The Brookings Institution presents: The Halo Effect and the Economic Value of Faith-based Organizations

                                              November 29th, 2016: Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a panel to discuss the economic importance of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships and considered strategies to strengthen these hubs of civic engagement and social support. Click here to view the event.

                                              Natural Law and Interfaith Relations: A Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Trialogue

                                              October 27th, 2016:

                                              • Anver M. Emon, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Religion, Pluralism, and the Rule of Law, University of Toronto
                                              • Matthew Levering, Chair of Theology, University of Saint Mary of the Lake
                                              • David Novak, Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

                                              Religion and the 2016 Presidential Election Colloquiums, University of Pennsylvania

                                              1st Colloquium: September 16th, 2016 Speaker: John L. Jackson, Richard Perry University Professor, Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice 2nd Colloquium: September 23rd, 2016 Speaker: Michele Margolis, Assistant Professor of Political Science 3rd Colloquium: September 29th, 2016, National Museum of American Jewish History

                                              • John DiIulio, Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society
                                              • John Lapinski, Associate Professor of Political Science, Director, Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies
                                              • Melissa Wilde, Associate Professor of Sociology, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Program for Research on Religion, and Urban Civil Society
                                              • Jane Eisner, Editor-In-Chief of The Jewish Daily Forward
                                              • Moderated by Dick Polman, National Political Columnist

                                              4th Colloquium: October 14th, 2016 Speaker: Jim Wallis, President and Founder of Sojourners 5th Colloquium: October 21st, 2016 Speaker: Prema Kurien, Professor of Sociology, Syracuse University 6th Colloquium: October 28th, 2016 Speaker: Mike Hout, Professor of Sociology, New York University Post-Election Debrief Panel: December 2nd, 2016 Speakers:

                                              • John Lapinski, Associate Professor of Political Science
                                              • Geoff Layman, Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

                                              The PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE of INTER-FAITH RELATIONS: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

                                              October 15th, 2015:

                                              • Philip Cunningham, Professor of Theology, St. Joseph’s University
                                              • Heather Sharkey, Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
                                              • Daniel Mark, Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

                                              Varieties of Modern Orthodoxy

                                              February 5th, 2015:

                                              • Alan Brill, Ross-Cooperman Professor of Jewish-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University
                                              • Anna Bonta Moreland, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities, Villanova University
                                              • Cheikh Babou, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
                                              • Moderated by Talya Fishman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

                                              Can a Secular Society Last?

                                              October 30th, 2014: Speakers:

                                              • Rémi Brague, Emeritus Professor of Arabic and Religious Philosophy at the Sorbonne & Romano Guardini Chair of Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
                                              • Eric Gregory, Professor of Religion, Princeton University
                                              • Jeffrey Green, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
                                              • Moderated by Mark Shiffman, Associate Professor of Humanities and Classical Studies, Villanova University

                                              How to Redesign an American Metropolis: Water, Transportation and Land Use in the Notre Dame Plan of Chicago 2109

                                              October 2nd, 2014:

                                              • Philip Bess, Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
                                              • Moderated by Lothar Haselberger, Professor of Roman Architecture and Art History, University of Pennsylvania

                                              A Crisis of Community: Catholic School Closures and Urban Neighborhoods

                                              September 18th, 2014:

                                              • Margaret Brinig, Chair in Law, Notre Dame Law School
                                              • Nicole Stelle Garnett, Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
                                              • Moderated by Tim Scully, Institute for Educational Initiatives, University of Notre Dame

                                              Faith in Fossils: Theological Reflections of a Penn Paleontologist

                                              February 5th, 2014: Speaker: Peter Dodson, Professor of Anatomy and Paleontology, University of Pennsylvania

                                              Religious Charter Schools: Constitutional? Desirable?

                                              October 24th, 2013:

                                              • Aaron Saiger, Professor of Law, Fordam University
                                              • Wilson Goode, Former Mayor of Philadelphia
                                              • Joan Goodman, Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania

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