October 13-14, 2017 | Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life Capstone Conference


Join us for our “capstone” conference, which will feature talks, panels, and discussions with the philosophers, religious thinkers, and psychologists who have been working together to investigate whether self-transcendence helps to make ordinary cultivation and exercise of virtue a source of deep happiness and meaning in human life.

The conference is free and open to the public. For the full schedule and addresses of events, visit https://virtue.uchicago.edu/capstone-conference

Registration – Online registration is required to attend the daytime conference events. REGISTER HERE for the conference.

Online registration for attendance at each keynote talk is separate and required (see links below).


Friday, October 13

9:15am Welcome by Principal Investigators Jennifer Frey and Candace Vogler

9:30-10:30 Kristján Kristjánsson, Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics; Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham

10:45-11:45 Dan P. McAdams, Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University

1:45 – 2:45 pm Panel: Transcending Boundaries I

Talbot Brewer, Professor of Philosophy, University of Virginia and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

Michael Gorman, Associate Professor of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

Jean Porter, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

3:00 -4:00 pm: Tahera Qutbuddin, Professor of Arabic Literature, University of Chicago

4:15 – 5:15 Panel: Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life Visiting Scholars

Fr. Stephen BrockProfessor of Medieval Philosophy, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome

Anselm Mueller, University of Trier

7pm – Keynote: Jonathan Lear, Oriental Institute, Breasted Hall | Registration required

Saturday, October 14

9:00 – 10:00 am Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University

10:15-11:15 Angela Knobel, Associate Professor of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

11:30-12:30 – Matthias Haase, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago

1:30-2:30p Panel  Transcending Boundaries II

Erik Angner, Associate Professor of Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University

Heather C. Lench, Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Head, Texas A&M University

Marc G. Berman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director, Environmental Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Chicago

Robert C. Roberts, Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy

3:45-4:45 Nancy Snow, Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing, University of Oklahoma 

6pm – Keynote, Cardinal Blaise Cupich, Law School Auditorium | Registration required


This event is made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.


Thank you to our conference co-sponsors: The Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom, the Committee on Social Thought, the Lumen Christi Institute, the Martin Marty Center, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the University of Chicago Department of Philosophy, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the University of Chicago Division of Humanities.