Life Worth Living

The “Life Worth Living” project is an effort to revive critical discussion in universities and the broader culture about the most important question of our lives: What is a life worth living?

“Life Worth Living” constitutes one of the core research and publication interests of the Center. Ultimately, the goal is to build a movement of scholars, teachers, students, administrators, and citizens who are placing this most important question at the very heart of the cultural conversation. The first component of this larger project has been to support the development of a new course titled “Life Worth Living” in Yale College.
Yale College Course (HUMS 411: Life Worth Living)
In the Spring of 2014, YCFC director Miroslav Volf and Yale Graduate Associate in Teaching Ryan McAnnally-Linz pioneered a Yale College course for undergraduates that draws upon a range of philosophical and religious traditions to help students develop habits of reflection that will equip them for the life-long process of discerning the good life. In addition to seminar readings from the foundational texts of each tradition, the course engaged guest practitioners of the various religious traditions examined and included a weekend retreat that invited students to reflect on their own worldview and approach to the questions under consideration. A syllabus for the course is available here.
Student Response
There was phenomenal response from the students who took the inaugural “Life Worth Living” class in Yale College. Below, students reflect on their experience:

One particular goal of the course was to make space for normative conversations in a pluralistic environment. The weekend retreat was an especially powerful context for realizing the potent possibilities of religious difference in a space where the big questions of life are on the table:

HUMS 411: Life Worth Living returns (by popular demand) in Spring 2015, taught by the Center’s own Matt Croasmun.