A Conference & Teaching Workshop

of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture

JULY 31 - AUGUST 3, 2018


The very idea of joy has all but disappeared from modern theological reflection, is all but ignored by the social sciences, and is increasingly absent from lived experience. The consequence is a “flattening out,” a “graying,” of human life and communities—abundance of entertainment notwithstanding—and a sharp bloom of individual and communal dysfunction. In many societies, how to get what we want has become increasingly clear, while the question of what is worth wanting becomes more and more obscure.
To explore the sources of this situation and possible responses, the Yale Center for Faith and Culture is hosting an academic conference and pedagogical workshop from July 31st to August 3rd. This event is open to the public (with a registration fee). For members of the Theology of Joy & the Good Life Project, registration is free and funding for travel and lodging is available.

“The Future of Joy and the Good Life” conference will include dynamic and diverse presentations of project findings from project members, presentations on future projects, and project-member-led seminars on a wide variety of research areas in relation to the theology of joy and the good life.

This will be followed by an interactive two-day teaching workshop on “Pedagogy of the Good Life,” open to professors, teachers, and pastors seeking to create nurturing learning communities that engage the fundamental questions of human existence. Together, we will explore one fundamental question: What could a teacher do to bring the meaning of life back into the classroom? 




July 31-August 1, 2018

Since its launch in 2015, over 180 scholars from institutions in 14 countries around the world have contributed to this project. Through exciting and frank panel discussions, sophisticated TED-style presentations, and plenary addresses from world-renowned scholars and practitioners, “The Future of Joy & the Good Life” conference will provide both project members and the public with access to the groundbreaking research on joy and the good life from a global cohort of scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines.





August 1-3, 2018

American educational institutions have, as Anthony Kronman suggests, “given up on the meaning of life.” There are many factors that have contributed to this fundamental transformation in what we understand an education to be and to be for: the ascendancy of the research ideal in higher education, ever-increasing technocratic pragmatism at every level, misconceptions of pluralism and its attendant costs, and the like.  But suppose one were convinced that this is a regrettable situation. What could a teacher do to bring the meaning of life back into the classroom?