In this seminar, students will read, analyze, and discern continuities and discontinuities in Catholic Social Thought from the late 19th century to the present. Lectures, seminar reports, and discussion will focus on original sources (encyclicals and other magisterial documents), beginning with Rerum novarum (1892) and concluding with Caritas in veritate (2009). This intensive course is multi-disciplinary, since this tradition of social thought overlaps several disciplines in the contemporary university including political science, political philosophy, law, economics, theology, and history. This will be the third time Prof. Hittinger has led this seminar.

Format: There will be two 2 ½ hour sessions each day. Professor Hittinger will open each session with a lecture, and then we will turn to general, seminar-style discussion of the text and the issues at hand. Students will be expected to make seminar presentations of the material under discussion.

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

Application Information:ʉ۬This seminar will be open to Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences (such as philosophy, theology, political science, history & medieval studies).

Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A completed online application form found HERE.
  • 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 except for letters of recommendation, which can be emailed to or mailed to: Lumen Christi Institute, Graduate Seminars, 1220 East 58th Streeet, Chicago, IL 60637. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 15 students will be admitted to this seminar.

Application materials must be received by 11:59pm CST on MARCH 1, 2013.

The Lumen Christi is an institute for the promotion of 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.

Any further questions can be directed to Mark Franzen at