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Initiative

Life Worth Living

Envisioning a world where deep reflection on the good life is central to education and public discourse.

Look around and you'll find any number of gurus who can give you the techniques and tactics to get the life you want.

But maybe what we need is to ask the deeper question: What is truly worth wanting in the first place?

This question once came pre-answered—by culture, by religion, by tradition—but these days, we each have to ask and answer for ourselves: What is the good life? What does it mean to live a flourishing life? These are difficult questions that require intellectual muscles many of us have never developed; we need one another’s help to ask and answer them well.

Through courses at Yale College, teacher training, and collaboration with faculty around the world, the Life Worth Living program equips students, educators, and the public for the lifelong process of discerning, articulating, and pursuing the good life by engaging the world’s philosophical and religious traditions.

Courses & Programming

Life Worth Living

A Yale College course that explores the shape of flourishing life through diverse traditions: Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Utilitarianism, and Nietzscheanism.

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Education & Life Worth Living

A Yale College seminar that asks: What is education for? What does it have to do with real life—not just any life, but a life worth living?

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Revitalizing the Humanities

We're developing a network of educators who envision a world where deep reflection on the good life is central to pluralistic undergraduate education and public discourse.

Coming Soon...

Consultations & Interviews

Life Worth Living
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Ethics
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What's Really Worth Wanting

Matthew Croasmun

"I saw in my classmates, from Christian to Atheist to Muslim to Jew, from the agnostic middle to the free-will-denying scientists, a capacity for wonder, love, curiosity, deep reflection, argument, and serendipity."
Yale Student / Life Worth Living 2018

Why Life Worth Living Exists

The Life Worth Living Program exists to revive critical discussion about these questions of lasting human significance. Through our courses at Yale College, a growing network of professors and institutions across higher education, pedagogical strategy and design, and public outreach for life-long learners, we aim to facilitate conversation across important and enduring lines of difference on questions of meaning and purpose.

The Life Worth Living program equips students, educators, and the public for the lifelong process of discerning, articulating, and pursuing the good life through engaging the world’s great philosophical and religious traditions. These core activities are supported by various media offerings and select textbook and popular publications. The program envisions a world where deep reflection on the good life is central to pluralistic undergraduate education and public discourse.

Related media

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Next Primary Initiative

Christ & Flourishing

What it means to be human and how to flourish are hotly contested in our world. We believe that Jesus Christ is the key to human flourishing, and that his life and work can revitalize and transform Christian higher education, the church, and through them, the world.

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Legacy Projects

Since 2003, we have been dedicated to building bridges of religious, political, and cultural discourse, fostering truth-seeking conversations, and impacting change in individual and community life. Find out about our past initiatives.

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