2014 Consultations

The initial Theology of Joy Project—funded by a planning grant from the John Templeton Foundation—conducted a multidisciplinary study of the traditional scriptural, theological, and devotional foundations for a theology of joy, exploring the most current social science resources that would enrich and inform that theological investigation.

 
The work done under this initial planning grant resulted in a full proposal for a larger initiative on the Theology of Joy and the Good Life
 
In addition to preliminary conversations with key partners (“Tübingen Consultation,” June 26, 2014), the initial project involved a series of consultations with scholars and other experts on six principal themes:
 
  1. Religions of Joy (August 21-22, 2014)
  2. The State of Joy (September 5-6, 2014)
  3. Joy, Human Nature and Human Destiny (September 12-13, 2014)
  4. Joy and Human Well-Being (September 19-20, 2014)
  5. Theology of Joy as a Transformative Movement (October 9-10, 2014)
  6. Joy and the Vernal Season of Adolescence (October 30-31, 2014)

This process of gathering scholars and experts, representing diverse schools of thought, disciplines, and academic institutions, to build a collective vision for the future of research and scholarship on joy and well-being, constituted the first stage of our vision for catalyzing intellectual change. Great ideas are produced and propagated by intellectuals who are linked together in social networks within the supportive context of diverse but prominent institutions. It is not enough to publish brilliant work, nor is it enough to collaborate on common research projects with like-minded colleagues. The greatest ideas are born when diverse intellectual communities gather in response to a common need and envision a common goal—and pursue their goal collaboratively within and between institutions of cultural influence. The consultations executed during the planning year were designed to build exactly these relationships between thought leaders from diverse sectors and institutions around the common project of building a research program for the investigation and rehabilitation of joy and human well-being.


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The Theology of Joy & the Good Life project is made possible by the John Templeton Foundation with additional support from the McDonald Agape Foundation.