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This seminar is an intensive week-long course in how to read, analyze, and discern the many themes in Augustine’s most ambitious and sprawling work. The City of God tells the history of two societies, and their respective origins, progress, and appointed ends. The story is engaged first from the evidence of profane history (I-XI) and then from the evidence of revelation (XII-XXII). In this seminar, participants will discuss how Augustine reckons with the crisis of the ancient and the human city, and whether it is possible to reconcile truth and authority across the competing domains of polity, religion, and philosophical wisdom. These themes will be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, addressing questions pertinent to students in political science, philosophy, law, theology, religious studies, and history.

Format: There will be two 2.5-hour sessions each day. Each session will include an opening lecture and seminar-style discussion of the text and the issues at hand. Students will be expected to prepare the readings carefully and participate in the discussions of the material.

Location:  The seminar will take place at the University of California, Berkeley. Students will be provided with lodging, meals, and a travel stipend of up to $350.

Application Information: This seminar will be open to PhD students in the humanities and relevant fields (such as philosophy, theology, english, classics, and  history).

 Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A completed online application form.
  • An updated CV.
  • At least one and as many as two letter(s) of recommendation from a member of the program in which the student is currently enrolled.
  • A statement of research interest no longer than 750 words, which includes an explanation of how this seminar might bear on the student’s current or future research plans.
  • One academic writing sample (30 pages maximum).

All application materials can be submitted via the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Fifteen students will be admitted to this seminar.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I apply for more than one seminar?
Yes. You may apply for multiple seminars. Please indicate your order of preference in your statement of purpose for each application. Each applicant may only be admitted to one seminar.

I am a PhD student graduating this academic year. Can I still apply?

I am currently an undergraduate or masters student, but have been admitted to a PhD program for the next academic year. Can I still apply?
Yes, please indicate this somewhere in your application.

I have attended a Lumen Christi Institute seminar in the past. May I still apply?

Do I have to be Catholic to apply?
No. The Lumen Christi Institute exists to promote the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and is committed to the integration of the intellectual and spiritual life. The Institute welcomes seminar participants of all or no religious affiliation, and wants to assure all applicants that the opportunities to participate in devotional activities are optional.

Contact us with any further questions.