If psychology, which constitutes one of the largest areas of study in the modern university, is to reach its full potential as a means of not only informing our understanding of the human condition but also aiding in the development of virtues which lead to the formation of strong moral, intellectual, and civic dimensions of character, then the disciplines that have traditionally dealt with virtue—theology and philosophy, in particular—must become essential aspects of psychological education and training. Yet, at a time when many psychologists are expressing the desire for a more mature, capacious discipline, a number of barriers—both practical and ideological—stand between the entrenched status quo and the realization of a more virtuous psychological science.
The Cura Psychologia Project, which aims to expand psychology’s capacity to speak about character virtue development, will begin to address these barriers by transforming the way psychological science is practiced at six Jesuit Catholic Universities. Anchoring itself at Jesuit institutions will enable this project to harness the rich resources made available by a 500 year tradition of searching for truth and caring for the whole person (cura personalis).
It is our contention that by building a community of scholars committed to sustained, shared learning across disciplinary boundaries, this project will be able to yield insights as profound as they are impactful. Bringing together faculty ambassadors from psychology, philosophy, and theology departments at the six institutions partnering with us on this initiative, the Cura Psychologia Project will use on-campus convenings and symposia, cross-departmental and interdisciplinary scholarly output, public lectures and conference programming, and the creation of a guiding principles document to reorient the psychological sciences toward considerations of moral, intellectual, and civic character.