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Episode Summary

The following principles animate and inform our Christ & Flourishing Initiative, expressed through our research, teaching, and public engagement.

Today’s most prevalent accounts of human flourishing have been caught in paradigms imposed by consumer culture, redirecting interest from the transcendent God to human beings and their mundane affairs, and replacing love of God and neighbor with a self-defeating concern for our own experiential satisfaction. Together, we must turn our attention to exploring an understanding of our humanity and what it means to flourish.

Pursuit of Flourishing

“What is a genuinely flourishing life?” In these courses, we center this vital question in all its richness, complexity, and difficulty, so that we can better understand the inherent value of our own lives and pursue lives worthy of our shared humanity.

Encounter with Christ

These courses bring students before the person of Jesus Christ and his claim to be the key to both discerning and pursuing flourishing life. Students do not have to accept that claim, but they must wrestle with it.

Embedded in Life

The questions posed and answers provided by Jesus Christ matter for all aspects of our lives. We will explore Jesus’s life and teachings as a matter of potentially life-shaping personal significance for each member of the class.

Engagement with Culture(s)

All human encounters with God are embedded within the particular time and place in which we find ourselves, sometimes affirming, sometimes challenging, but always in some way transforming our social conventions and practices. These courses encourage us to ask how Jesus’s life aligns with and/or judges the prevailing sensibilities and practices of our own cultural contexts.

Breadth of Voices

Jesus speaks to all people and to all peoples. All are, therefore, actual or potential interpreters of Christ. These courses draw on the diverse backgrounds (cultural, academic, ecclesial, etc.) and experiences of our students and teachers in interdisciplinary exploration of the figure of Christ and flourishing life.

Collaborative Discernment

From the start of his ministry, Jesus gathered around him a community of followers who found themselves called to a life of collaborative discernment and, at times, contentious disagreement. Together, we pursue big questions about the significance of Jesus for human flourishing with mutual love, humility, openness, and respect across our disagreements.

For More Information About the Christ & Flourishing Initiative, click here.

Join the Christ & Being Human Pedagogy Network

Fall 2023 Course Development Program

The Yale Center for Faith & Culture is excited to offer a limited number of slots in a new Christ & Being Human course development program.

Participants will (a) work in small groups to create new courses or revise current ones to help students discern and articulate visions of flourishing life in light of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and (b) receive feedback and advice from current members of the Christ & Being Human teaching network.

Participants will also receive a $1,250 honorarium for the fall term, with continuation of the program in spring contingent on subsequent grant funding.

If you teach in higher education and resonate with the key principles of the Christ & Being Human teaching network (listed above), we would be thrilled to consider you for participation in the course development program.

To be considered, please submit a one-paragraph course description, along with your institutional affiliation and CV, to by Friday, September 23, 2022.

Applications from disciplines outside theology are welcome. Participants will be required to provide a letter of support from your institution indicating that you are permitted to propose new courses or revise the relevant syllabus.

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lines, dots, staircase, stairs

May 15, 2023

Tolerating Doubt & Ambiguity

Is your faith a house of cards? If you were wrong about one belief would the whole structure just collapse? If even one injury came to you, one instance of broken trust, would the whole castle fall? If one element was seemingly inconsistent or incompatible—would you burn down the house? This depiction of the psychology of faith is quite fragile. It falls over to even the lightest breath. But what would a flexible faith be? Resilient to even the heaviest gusts of life’s hurricanes. It would adapt and grow as a living, responsive faith. Psychologist Elizabeth Hall joins Evan Rosa to discuss the domains of psychology and theology and what it means for each to “stay in their lane”; she introduces a distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge, and identifies the social- and self-imposed pressure to know everything with certainty; we reflect on the recent trends toward deconversion from faith in light of these pressures; and she offers psychologically grounded guidance for approaching doubt and ambiguity in a secure relational context, seeking to make the unspoken or implicit doubts explicit. Rather than remaining perched upon our individualized, certainty-driven house-of-card faith; she lays out a way to inhabit a flexible, resilient, and relationally grounded faith, tolerant of ambiguity and adaptive and secure amidst all our winds of doubt. This episode was made possible in part by the generous support of Blueprint 1543. For more information, visit

Elizabeth Hall