What is a good human life? What are the virtues and community types that enable us to live well?  This seminar will explore the nature of virtue and happiness by putting philosophical and theological perspectives on eudaimonia in dialogue with the empirical findings and theoretical frameworks of contemporary psychology, especially the field of positive psychology situated at Penn. Possible topics to be explored include: (1) eudaimonia and its relation to subjective well-being, (2) virtue in the context of community and social institutions, (3) the significance of religion and transcendence for human flourishing, (4) interdisciplinary perspectives on concepts like (a) freedom and grace, conditioning and constraint; (b) acquired virtue and infused virtues, or (c) sin / failure and forgiveness / resilience.

This Magi Summer Seminar is presented by the Collegium Institute and the Lumen Christi Institute, and will feature lectures by Martin E.P. Seligman (University of Pennsylvania), Candace Vogler (University of Chicago), Kristján Kristjánsson (University of Birmingham), Darcia Narvaez (University of Notre Dame), David Cloutier (Catholic University of America), and Sarah Schnitker (Baylor University).  



  • The seminar will take place at University of Pennsylvania. Admitted students will be required to arrange their own travel to and from the seminar.
  • Admitted students will be granted a stipend of $350 to offset travel costs in addition to having their lodging and most meals covered for the duration of the seminar.
  • Participants will arrive in Pennsylvania on Sunday, July 21 and depart on Saturday, July 27. The seminar will take place from Monday to Friday, with a lecture and discussion session each morning and afternoon.
  • Participants will be required to read the assigned materials in preparation for the seminar.
  • In order to receive the $350 stipend, students must participate fully in all seminar activities and complete a survey at the end of the seminar.


  • Open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields, medicine, the history of science, philosophy, theology, and relevant fields.
  • Applicants must submit an online application, including details on their course of study, a statement of interest, and a letter of recommendation (optional).
  • Application Deadline is February 2.
  • 15 applicants will be admitted to the seminar.

Contact us with any questions at seminars@lumenchristi.org.

The Application Deadline is Friday February 2.
This seminar is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide.”