CwtC IV: Literature and the Catholic Imagination

When: Sundays, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26 at 7:30pm
Where: Penn Newman Catholic Center

You can learn a lot of theology from a short story.

Join Collegium and the Newman Catholic Community this February for three late dinners/informal seminars before the late Sunday Mass.

Together we will read and discuss short stories that every Catholic should encounter, featuring authors such as Flannery O’Connor, Madeleine L’Engle, Graham Greene, Georges Bernanos, G.K. Chesterton, and Andre Dubus.

Catholic faith opens our imagination and expands our vision of the world.  Ordinary flesh and blood becomes pregnant with spiritual possibility. What do Catholics believe about nature and creation, sacrifice and fulfillment, morality and community, love and redemption?  And what can we learn about who we really are, and how we are to live?  The Spirit can move in literature, revealing itself in a glance between two characters, in the way a person moves or speaks, in the way that the light falls. And a great author can capture it all in a short story…

Come read some stories with the Collegium Institute’s resident theologian,

Dr. Christopher Roberts

February 12, 19, and 26 in the Newman Center seminar room at 7:30.  Concludes before 9pm Mass. Cost is $20 for the 3-part series.  Registration includes Pizza, Texts, and Professor.  To register CLICK HERE.

Limited to 20 students.  Interested students may join the wait list by contacting Elizabeth Feeney ~  No prior knowledge or experience required for this beginner’s seminar, open to undergraduate students from all schools and levels.

Morality & Markets: the Catholic Perspective

April 26, 2016 at Penn Club of New York

Morality & Markets: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives

Last year, Collegium and First Things invited Penn Alumni to a panel discussion on moralities and the markets.  Presenters included Dr. David Skeel and Dr. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde of the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Cohen of the Tikvah Fund and First Things, and Dr. Atif Mian of Princeton University.

Here, Dr. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde writes of the Catholic perspective which he presented that night.

Penn Club Remarks: the Catholic Perspective

by Dr. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde

CwtC Module III: Friendship, Then & Now

When: Wednesdays, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8 at 6:00pm

Where: Harrison House

“He who has friends, has no friend.”  This observation, perhaps lament, was derived not out of the Facebook generation, but rather out of Greek antiquity.  In his foundational treatise on Ethics, Aristotle reflected on the value of personal friendship, on what it takes     to count someone else a good friend and on what one might need to give up in order to be one.  And of course on whether it is possible to have many friends.  His conclusions have been continually absorbed and challenged over two millennia, addressing questions about human relationships that appear quintessentially modern. In this preceptorial/ informal dinner seminar, students and a faculty guide will read and discuss brief but momentous texts on friendship.  Among the great thinkers featured include Aristotle, Cicero, Chaucer, Montaigne, Emerson, Thoreau, Keats, and others.  Of course no papers or exams are required at the end!
Coffee with the classics is coordinated by Collegium and hosted at Harrison College House.  These three discussion seminars on Friendship will take place on Wednesday evenings, 6pm-7:20, on 1/25, 2/1, and 2/8.  Dinner is available at 5:45pm and is included with all texts to registrants.  Both beginning and experienced students from all schools are welcome.  Registration is limited to seminar-size.
Register at for texts and dinner.

How To Heal: Integrated Healing?

a New Medical Humanities Series

This new series in Medical Humanities is a monthly luncheon seminar that invites students across the healthcare community to engage with veteran practitioners and faculty on concrete, clinical issues that prompt more fundamental questions: what does it mean to heal? how does one measure wellness? how do doctors and nurses determine when their responsibility for making someone well is complete?  How is the flourishing of patient and caregiver related — or not?

Click HERE for the TEXT to our inaugural presentation. 

Integral Healing?
To what extent should clinicians be concerned with
both body and spirit?
Dr. Brian Wojciechowski
President, Catholic Medical Association of Philadelphia

To register for upcoming luncheons, contact Elizabeth Feeney at

How to Heal

A New Medical Humanities Series

This new series in Medical Humanities is a monthly luncheon seminar that invites students across the healthcare community to engage with veteran practitioners and faculty on concrete, clinical issues that prompt more fundamental questions: what does it mean to heal? how does one measure wellness? how do doctors and nurses determine when their responsibility for making someone well is complete?  How is the flourishing of patient and caregiver related — or not?

Please join Collegium for the inaugural luncheon seminar:  

Integral Healing?
To what extent should clinicians be concerned with
both body and spirit?
Dr. Brian Wojciechowski
President, Catholic Medical Association of Philadelphia
Thurs, January 19th at noon
Jordan Medical Education Center
Lunch will be provided.

To register or for more information, please contact Elizabeth Feeney at


Sacred Songs: an Evening of Music and Reflection

 with Composer and Professor of Music James Primosch

co-sponsored by the Penn Department of Music

When: Monday, January 23rd at 5:30pm

Where: Lerner Center, Room 101

201 South 34th Street

Penn faculty composer James Primosch presents a lecture/recital on his vocal music, featuring live performances by soprano Mary Mackenzie and pianist Eric Sedgwick.

In Primosch's work, idioms from 20th/21st century traditions intersect with materials gleaned from his work as a liturgical musician. While some of the songs provide fresh settings for old liturgical melodies and texts, others set contemporary poetry with newly devised music. The result is concert music that also fulfills a pastoral function, serving as a space for contemplation, and an act of praise.

Reception to Follow

Please RSVP HERE for this event.


James Primosch studied composition at Cleveland State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, his music has been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and soprano Dawn Upshaw, among many other ensembles and soloists. 20 of his compositions have been released on compact disc. He has served on the Penn faculty since 1988.

mary mack

Mary Mackenzie, soprano

eric sed

Eric Sedgwick, piano


How Catholic Places Serve Civic Purposes: the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Economic “Halo Effects”

Wednesday, November 30th at 5:30pm
Penn Hillel, 2nd Floor
215 S. 39th St, Phila, PA, 19104

Cosponsor: Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society

Join Collegium Institute and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) as we mark the release of the new PRRUCS Report on Catholic Nonprofits in Philadelphia.  Keynote speaker, Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, will reflect on the mission and significance of religious non-profits in history, and on their evolving place in civil society in the present.  The panel of scholars and non-profit leaders, moderated by Professor Ram Cnaan of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, will then consider more specifically the contours of the “halo effect” that Catholic institutions in particular are supposed to be generating in Philadelphia today.

Keynote speaker: Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia

Moderator: Dr. Ram Cnaan, Program Director, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research


~Joseph P. Tierney, Executive Director, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program

~Lorraine M. Knight, Executive Director, Nutritional Development Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

~A. Robert Jaeger, President, Partners for Sacred Places

Reception to Follow

RSVP HERE to attend this lecture.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965.  He was appointed Archbishop of Denver in 1997, and later appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia in 2011.

During his ministry, he has assisted in the founding of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, an affiliate of the Pontifical Lateran University, as well as Centro San Juan Diego in Colorado, the national Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL), and ENDOW, a leadership initiative of Catholic women to “Educate on the Nature and Dignity of Women.” He was also instrumental in creating the Denver-based Augustine Institute, an independent, lay-run graduate school for the formation of lay Catholic leaders, catechists, and evangelizers. Archbishop Chaput has served on various national and international committees for advancing religious freedom, in addition to serving as a board member for various Catholic educational institutions.  For the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Chaput is currently Chair of the Subcommittee on Native American Catholics, and a member and consultant for several other committees.

In addition to numerous talks, pastoral letter, and articles, he has authored two books: Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics (Servant, 2001) and Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life (Doubleday, 2008).


Dr. Ram A. Cnaan is a Professor and Director, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice. He is also the founder and Faculty Director the Goldring Reentry Initiative which works to reduce recidivism. Professor Cnaan received his doctorate degree from the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, and his B.S.W. and M.S.W. (both cum laude) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Professor Cnaan has published numerous articles in scientific journals on a variety of social issues (mainly faith-based organizations, volunteerism, social policy, and development) and serves on the editorial boards of 11 academic journals, as well as authored or edited several academic books.

Professor Cnaan is considered an international expert in the areas of faith-based social care, volunteering, prisoners’ reentry, and social policy. He lectures widely and teaches regularly in four countries.


Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society

The PRRUCS mission is to translate Benjamin Franklin’s timeless yet timely nonsectarian civic vision for Penn and for American democracy itself—a nonsectarian civic vision that models both robust respect for religious pluralism and a bedrock belief that sacred places, both on their own and via public-private partnerships, can and should serve secular purposes unto “the common good”—into a 21st century, university-anchored agenda of fact-based research on urban and other faith-based organizations; survey research on religion and democratic values in America; arts and sciences teaching relevant to religion; service-learning initiatives; and special events and projects that advance knowledge and promote mutual understanding concerning contemporary America’s most complex and contentious church-state issues.

On the Secular University and the Church

Reconsidering Newman’s Philosophy of Education Today

Penn Newman Catholic Center
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dr. Don Briel, the Blessed John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts at the University of Mary, launched the Inaugural John Henry Newman Lecture, speaking and answering questions at this first annual lecture marking the University of Pennsylvania as the site of the nation’s first Newman Club.

Here is a transcript of the Inaugural Newman Lecture.


Natural Law and Interfaith Relations: A Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Trialogue

Co-sponsored by the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, the Penn Muslim Law Student Association, the Penn Muslim Student Association, the John Marshall Pre-Law Honor Society, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, the Jewish Law Students Association, and the Christian Legal Society of Penn.

Where: Penn Law School

                Gittis 213

                3501 Sansom Street, Phila, PA, 19104

When: Thurs, Oct. 27th at 5:00pm, with Reception to Follow

In a world that appears increasingly polarized and fractured, especially across religious and cultural divisions, could natural law offer a new principle of unity? Join Collegium as co-authors Dr. Novak, Dr. Levering, and Dr. Emon come together to revisit their collaborative volume, Natural Law: A Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2014).  In this project, they reflect on Natural Law doctrine through the interconnected lens of their respective academic disciplines and faith traditions.  Drawing on classical thinkers from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, each reflects on how the particularity of the respective religious tradition is squared with the evident universality of natural law claims.  Their dialogue, as co-authors and panelists, provides a forum for further discussion among their respective scholarly and religious communities on natural law and shared morality.


Dr. Anver M. Emon: Professor and Canada Research Chair in Religion, Pluralism, and the Rule of Law at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Matthew Levering: James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake

Dr. David Novak: Professor and J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto

CLE Credit: This program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $40.00 ($20.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Please RSVP HERE.  For more information, contact Elizabeth Feeney at

Dr. Anver M. Emon is a leading scholar of Islamic law who works across multiple legal traditions in both his research and teaching, and brings that scholarly grounding to his consultations for governments, NGOs and legal advocacy groups around the world. Dr. Emon’s research focuses on premodern and modern Islamic legal history and theory; premodern modes of governance and adjudication; and the role of Shari’a both inside and outside the Muslim world.  His general academic interests include topics in law and religion; legal history; and legal philosophy. He teaches torts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation, and offers specialized seminars on Islamic legal history, gender and Islamic law, and law and religion. The recipient of numerous research grants, he was named as a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of law.

In addition to publishing numerous articles, Emon is the author of Islamic Natural Law Theories (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Religious Pluralism and Islamic Law: Dhimmis and Others in the Empire of Law (Oxford University Press, 2012), as well as the co-editor of Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground? (Oxford University Press, 2012).  He is the founding editor of Middle East Law and Governance: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and series editor of the Oxford Islamic Legal Studies Series.

Dr. Matthew Levering received a B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.T.S. at Duke University, and Ph.D. at Boston College.  Previous appointments include: assistant professor of theology at Ave Maria College, associate professor of theology at Ave Maria University, Myser Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, and professor of theology at University of Dayton.  He has authored numerous books including Christ’s Fulfillment of Torah and Temple, Scripture and Metaphysics, Sacrifice and Community, Participatory Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Natural Law, Ezra and Nehemiah, and Christ and the Catholic Priesthood.  He is the translator of Gilles Emery, O.P.’s The Trinity and serves as co-editor of Nova et Vetera and of the International Journal of Systematic Theology.  He is a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology and of Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

Dr. David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as Professor of Religion and Philosophy in the University of Toronto, where he is a member of University College and the Joint Centre for Bioethics. In the past, he has held appointments at various prestigious universities, as well as served as the Jewish Chaplain to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., as the rabbi of several U.S. congregations, and as a consultant to the governments of the United States, Israel, and Poland, and to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  David Novak is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), and a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is a founder, Vice President, and Coordinator of the Panel of Inquiry on Jewish Law of the Union for Traditional Judaism. He is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and a member of the Advisory Board of its monthly journal First Things.

In 2006 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC), a federal agency, by the Governor-General of Canada. In 2008 he founded the Tikvah Fund Summer Seminar of Princeton University. In 2011 he was appointed a Project Scholar in the Religious Freedom Project of the Berkley Center of Georgetown University.


Coffee with the Classics Module II: Beauty & the Good Life

Date: 10/12; 10/19; 10/26

Time: Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:00pm


Beauty is in everything that surrounds us.  We see it in art, the human body, and nature, and we hear it in music of all sorts of cadences and melodies.  Where does this beauty come from? Even though much of the beauty we are aware of comes to us through our senses, there is also a beauty that comes to us through the intangible–the beauty of the intellect, of the virtues, and of the good.  What is the good, and how can it help us come to a vision of this seemingly inaccessible form of beauty?  How must we alter our conduct of life in order to live a good life, and essentially, to see true beauty?

Join us as we continue to explore perennial questions with Coffee with the Classics.  Students, together with faculty facilitators, will be coming together to examine brief selections from works by Plato, Plotinus, Schiller, Maritain, von Balthasar, and Hart.

Meetings will be Wednesdays, starting at 6:30pm, with dinner and texts provided free of charge.  Express interest or ask questions to Elizabeth Feeney: