Our project uses research focused on self-transcendence to advance understanding of the interrelations of virtue, happiness, and the meaning of life. Following Sir John Templeton's lead, we believe that self-transcendence is the missing link in current research, crucial to the spiritual dimension of human life. By fostering intensive collaboration between philosophers, religious thinkers, and psychologists, we will investigate whether self-transcendence helps to make ordinary cultivation and exercise of virtue a source of deep happiness and meaning in human life. Using a theoretical framework based in Aquinas's development of Aristotle's insights, our project centers on four focused, multidisciplinary, multi-generational working-group meetings of mutually invested scholars at the University of Chicago and the University of South Carolina. In order to seed future research, we will host two summer seminars for doctoral students and junior faculty; invite two visiting scholars to help us design two new courses and lead faculty-doctoral student discussion groups; hold a two-day capstone conference at the University of Chicago; and present our emerging results at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue annual conferences. An active web and social media presence, a series of six public lectures, and popular print, radio, and digital media coverage will further engage a public audience in these activities. The project's enduring impact will be to bring focus on self-transcendence to the forefront of cutting-edge research and public discourse about virtue, happiness, and the meaning of life, and to develop a new self-transcendence construct for empirical research, thereby providing a key insight that links prior research to new emerging knowledge. Outputs also include 20 articles submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, one monograph, two high-profile public media pieces, and one workshop.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.