The Care of the Soul:
Re-Thinking Virtue in the Contemporary World
9th Annual Summer Seminar
July 5 – July 11, 2019
For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul.
The Apology of Socrates
The theme of the 2019 Hildebrand Project Summer Seminar was “The Care of the Soul.” Socrates, in saying that he desired the improvement of the soul, wanted more for the Athenians than to consider the moral life in terms of wealth and prestige. He wanted them, before all else, to cultivate moral virtue and good moral character. He stands at the origin of a rich tradition of thought about virtue.
In this seminar, we enter into this tradition, and ask: What is it to be a person of integrity? What does it mean to have a well-formed character? Why is it so vital for one to live an authentic existence? The ancients do not mention authenticity, nor do the great medieval teachers. Is it a real virtue? If so, what constitutes authenticity, and how does it fit in with the classical and Christian virtues?
Max Scheler, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Karol Wojtyla, and other early personalists asked all these questions, and answered them with great originality. We will listen to them, as well as to other voices in our tradition, from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, to more recent figures, such as Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Emmanuel Levinas, as we work toward an understanding of virtue and character that is adapted to the historical moment in which we live.
The Care of the Soul – Videos
Beginning with Socrates
A Look at the Virtue Tradition
The Virtues of the Saints
Further Personalist Contributions to the Tradition on Virtue
Authenticity - Part I
2019 Seminar Faculty
Tim Hall is K-12 Social Studies Instructional Specialist for Vance County Schools. He was formerly Director of Operations and Academics of Thales Academy which one of the largest private school management organizations in North Carolina. He is the author of several textbook supplements, curriculums, standards, and several popular history texts including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World History (Penguin, 2nd edn 2012) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Middle Ages (Penguin, 2009). He was the course administrator of the MOOC on Kierkegaard at Coursera entitled “Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity.” Some of his recent research focuses on the philosophy of Kierkegaard and non‐cognitive education which was published in a shorter form in Wiley- Blackwell’s Companion to Kierkegaard and religious literacy and diversity in education which is in development.As an educator, Dr. Hall has taught AP World History, AP European History, AP Psychology, and Medieval Studies. He has received numerous awards, including two schoolteacher studentships to Oxford University for curriculum development and research fellowships to the Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Dr. Hall has also collaborated with the College of William and Mary in Virginia in the development of curriculum materials for the teaching of the principle of separation of church and state in American history as an extension to a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in which he participated.
Anne Snyder is the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons created in 2020 to try to inspire a dynamic cross-section of thinkers and practitioners to respond to the major crises of the year with wisdom, hope and courage. She is the host of The Whole Person Revolution podcast and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape, published in 2019.
John F. Crosby
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Personalism, John Henry Newman, John Paul II, Dietrich von Hildebrand
Prof. Crosby was himself a student of Dietrich Hildebrand. Besides writing major studies on the thought of John Henry Newman, Max Scheler, and Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, and making his own contributions to personalist philosophy, Prof. Crosby has devoted his long and distinguished academic career—first at the University of Dallas, then at the International Academy of Philosophy, and currently at Franciscan University of Steubenville—to introducing his students to the intellectual legacy of Hildebrand, and also to making Hildebrand better known in scholarly circles. Prof. Crosby was the translator of the English edition of Hildebrand’s philosophical masterpiece, The Nature of Love, and he also serves as the General Editor of all our present and future translations of Hildebrand’s works.
Professor Seifert received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Salzburg in 1969 and, under Professor Robert Spaemann, his habilitation from the University of Munich (Privatdozent) in 1975. He studied chiefly under Balduin Schwarz, the most distinguished German former student of Dietrich von Hildebrand, at the University of Salzburg, and under Gabriel Marcel in Paris. Already as a child (from age 3 on) he knew Hildebrand personally, because Seifert’s mother had been a student of Hildebrand in Munich and both of his parents were Hildebrand’s friends. He is the author of many books, and Europe’s leading student and teacher of Hildebrand’s philosophy.
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. Prior to joining Tikvah, Rabbi Gottlieb served as Head of School at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and Principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Hebrew Theological College, Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He received his B.A. from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb is a member of the Orthodox Forum Steering Committee and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. In addition to his contributions to Jewish theology, Rabbi Gottlieb has written on the thought of C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and John Paul II, and is especially interested in the relationship between Jewish and Christian forms of personalism. He lives in Teaneck, NJ with his wife and five children.
Derek S. Jefferys
Derek S. Jeffreys is a professor of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He did both his B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He has written books on St. John Paul II, ethics and torture and ethics and solitary confinement. His most recent book is America’s Jails: The Search for Human Dignity in An Age of Mass Incarceration. Jeffreys teaches courses on love, Thomas Aquinas, ethics, ethics and punishment, evil, Dante, Buddhism, and other topics. For more than a decade he has been involved in jail and prison education, giving volunteer religion and philosophy lectures to inmates in Wisconsin’s jails and prisons. He is married and proud father of twin boys.
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Personalism, Personalism and Violence, Personalism and Incarceration
Jeffreys, Derek S. Defending Human Dignity: John Paul II and Political Realism . Grand, Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2004.
Jeffreys, Derek S. Spirituality and the Ethics of Torture. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
Jeffreys, Derek S. Spirituality in Dark Places: The Ethics of Solitary Confinement. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Jeffreys, Derek S. America’s Jails: The Search for Human Dignity in an Age of Mass Incarceration. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2018.
Jeffreys, Derek S. “Personalists are not Kantians: Robert Kraynak and the Value of the Person,” Journal of Markets and Morality 7, no. 2 (October 2004): 507-516.
Jeffreys, Derek S. “Ignoring Thomistic Metaphysics: A Reply to Robert Kraynak,” Journal of Markets and Morality 7, no. 2 (October 2004): 527-531.
Jeffreys, Derek S. “Cruel but not Unusual: Derek Jeffreys on Solitary Confinement,” Commonweal, June 13, 2014: 20-23.
Jeffreys, Derek S. C-Span Book Interview on Spirituality in Dark Places: The Ethics of Solitary Confinement, September 23, 2014.
Robert is an Associate Professor of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he teaches philosophy and theology, an associate member of faculty of the International Theological Institute and the Maryvale Institute, an Associated Scholar of the Hildebrand Project, and a founding member of the Aquinas Institute of Ireland, for which he currently holds the position of secretary. Robert was educated at the National University of Ireland Galway, where he studied physics and applied science, Maynooth University and St. Patrick’s College, where he studied philosophy and theological studies, the International Theological Institute, where he received a master’s degree in the theology of marriage and family, and Liverpool Hope University, where he completed a doctorate of philosophy detailing Edith Stein’s engagement with the thought of Thomas Aquinas in her mature philosophy of the human person. Robert is originally from Galway, Ireland.
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Metaphysics, Personalism, Edith Stein, Thomas Aquinas (Thomism)
‘The Concept of Christian Philosophy in Edith Stein’, in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 94.2 (2020), pp. 323-46.
‘The Cognition of the Human Individual in the Mature Thought of Edith Stein’, in Philosophical News, a Publication of the European Society for Moral Philosophy, ed. Elisa Grimi, 16 (forthcoming).
‘Human Individuality in Stein’s Mature Works’, in Edith Steins Herausforderung heutiger Anthropologie, ed. by Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz and Mette Lebech (Heiligenkreuz: Be&Be, 2017), pp. 124-39
‘Essence in Edith Stein’s Festschrift Dialogue’, in Alles Wesentliche lässt sich nicht schreiben, ed. by Andreas Speer and Stephen Regh (Freiburg i. Br.: Herder, 2016), pp. 175-94. Paper Presentations:
‘Edith Stein’s Understanding of Human Flourishing’, St. Saviour’s Symposium, Dominican House of Studies, Dublin, Ireland (2020).
‘Edith Stein’s Understanding of Human Unity and Bodily Formation’, 5th biennial International Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein (IASPES), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (2019).
‘Edith Stein’s Understanding of the Soul as Form of the Body’, The International Theological Institute, Trumau, Austria (2018).
‘The Cognition of the Human Individual’, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, U.S.A. (2018).
‘Individuality in Stein Reading Aquinas’, 3rd biennial International Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein (IASPES), University of Vienna, Austria (2016).
‘Essence in Husserl and Aquinas’, International Conference: ‘What’s essential can’t be written: Edith Stein’s Life and Thought as reflected in her oeuvre’, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (2014).
Elizabeth C. Shaw
Elizabeth Shaw is assistant director for special academic programs at the Arthur & Carlyse Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship and a lecturer in the School of Philosophy and the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America. For several years she has assisted in the preparation of new releases from the Hildebrand Press. Dr. Shaw teaches online for the Catholic Distance University and is also associate editor of The Review of Metaphysics and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly. For eight years she was research assistant to Catholic intellectual Michael Novak. She has a B.S. in mathematics from Georgetown University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from Catholic University.
Catholic University of America
Assistant Director, Special Academic Programs, Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship; Lecturer, School of Philosophy
American Philosophy, Ethics, Personalism, Catholic Social Thought
“Hildebrand on the Heart of Personality,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly 43 (2020): forthcoming.
“The Will to Believe,” in Gale Researcher Philosophy Series 1 and 2 Detroit: Gale/Cengage, 2017).
“Intuition and Evolution in the Thought of Henri Bergson,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly 38, no. 1/2 (Spring/Summer 2015): 12–21.
“Caritas and Human Flourishing,” in An American and Catholic Life: Essays Dedicated to Michael Novak (Ave Maria, Fla.: Sapientia Press, 2015), 70–82.
“Intelligent Subjectivity: Into the Presence of God,” in Theologian and Philosopher of Liberty: Essays of Evaluation and Criticism in Honor of Michael Novak(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Acton Institute, 2014), 1–9.
“On the Human Person: Business and Entrepreneurial Perspectives” (drawing on the thought of Karol Wojtyla and others), to be offered in the Busch School of Business at Catholic University. Forthcoming.
Mark K. Spencer
Dr. Mark Spencer Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Spencer fell in love with philosophy in high school when he first encountered the writings of Albert Camus and St. Thomas Aquinas. He earned his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, and his M.A. and B.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he first encountered the work of Dietrich von Hildebrand. He is the author of over 35 papers, mostly focusing on the nature of the human person, beauty, and God’s relations to us. In his research, he above all tries to synthesize many traditions’ approaches to these topics, drawing on the scholastic, phenomenological, analytic, and Greek Patristic traditions. Among the things he takes greatest delight in is introducing students to the insights of these traditions, so as to help them better perceive and contemplate reality, for which he finds the work of von Hildebrand an indispensable guide. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Susanna, and their four children. Together, they especially enjoy hiking, camping, reading novels, watching films, gardening, and homeschooling.
University of St Thomas, MN
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Philosophical Anthropology, Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Philosophical Theology
“Created Persons are Subsistent Relations: A Scholastic-Phenomenological Synthesis.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89, Analyzing Catholic Philosophy (2015): 225-243.
“Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity.” International Philosophical Quarterly 55:2 (June 2015): 145-164.
“Divine Causality and Created Freedom: A Thomistic Personalist View.” Nova et Vetera 14:3 (Summer 2016): 375-419.
“The Many Powers of the Human Soul: Von Hildebrand’s Contribution to Scholastic Philosophical Anthropology,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91:4, Special Issue on Dietrich Von Hildebrand (Fall 2017): 719-735.
“Perceiving the Image of God in the Whole Human Person,” The Saint Anselm Journal 13:2 (Spring 2018): 1-18.
“Sense Perception and the Flourishing of the Human Person in von Hildebrand and the Aristotelian Traditions,” Tópicos, Revista de Filosofía 56 (2019): 95-118.
“Beauty and Being in von Hildebrand and the Aristotelian Tradition,” The Review of Metaphysics 73:2 (December 2019): 311-334.
“Covenantal Metaphysics and Cosmological Metaphysics: An Aesthetic Critique and an Aesthetic Synthesis”, The Saint Anselm Journal 15:2 (Spring 2020): forthcoming.
“Beauty and the Intellectual Virtues in Aristotle,” in Beauty and the Good: Past Interpretations and Their Contemporary Relevance ed. Alice Ramos, (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2020).
John Henry Crosby
John Henry Crosby is a translator, writer, critic, and cultural entrepreneur.
Late in 2003, searching for a life’s work that could integrate the quest for truth, the existential need for beauty, and the service of a great good, and beginning to despair of ever finding such a mission, he called Alice von Hildebrand to propose that he spend one year translating her late husband’s Aesthetics. Would she help, he asked.
She did, and her blessing transformed his one-year plan into lifelong mission that soon attracted the collaboration of others. Thus, the life’s work he had sought found him. Established in February 2004, the Hildebrand Project’s mission to renew culture has grown to encompass publications, events, fellowships, and online resources that draw on the continuing vitality of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s thought and witness.
Under his leadership, the Hildebrand Project has become the world’s leading organization dedicated to Dietrich von Hildebrand’s legacy. The Project has been supported by many leading foundations and donors, including the Bradley Foundation, Chiaroscuro Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Fieldstead & Company, Henry Luce Foundation, Luddy Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Our Sunday Visitor Institute, Papal Foundation, and the Raskob Foundation.
He was the editor of a new edition of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Heart (St. Augustine’s Press, 2007). He joined John F. Crosby as co-translator of Hildebrand’s major philosophical work, The Nature of Love (St. Augustine’s Press, 2009). He edited Selected Papers in the Philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand (2012), the first major volume of essays on von Hildebrand in two decades. Most recently he is the primary compiler, editor, and translator of Hildebrand’s anti-Nazi papers, My Battle Against Hitler (Random House, 2014).
His work has been featured in both popular (e.g., The Daily Beast) and scholarly publications (Logos Journal). His numerous radio appearances have taken him from PRI’s The Takeaway to the Hugh Hewitt Show. He was host of He Dared Speak the Truth, a 14-part television series on the life of Dietrich von Hildebrand, which aired on EWTN (2014).
Son of an Austrian mother and an American father, his mother tongue was German. Both his undergraduate studies in philosophy, history, and literature (2000) as well as his graduate studies in philosophy (2001) were pursued at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
He was for many years a violinist. As a student of Daniel Heifetz, he was formed in the great violinistic traditions of Henryk Szeryng, David Oistrakh, and Ivan Galamian.
He serves as a trustee of The Personalist Project.
In 2010 he married Robin-Marie Bobak. Through their marriage—and all the more with the birth of their children Magdalene (2011), Robin (2013), John Henry, Jr. (2015), and Peter—he has found (or, again, been found by) an integration of the good, true, and beautiful far greater than any he has ever known.
Christopher T. Haley
“Only the brave return to the source.” — a favorite line from a Hölderlin poem. For Christopher, the source was beauty. Philosophy has always captured his interest, but it was beauty that was his first love, that first broke his heart (and a broken heart the Lord will not refuse, Ps. 51). After many years in school studying philosophy at St. Edward’s University (where he discovered Catholicism) ancient languages at the University of Texas (where he converted from atheism to Catholicism), and the University of Dallas (where he was introduced to Christian Personalism) Christopher misread Aristotle’s Rhetoric and decided that he needed to do something “practical;” so he began working in teaching, marketing, and politics, striking out in new areas with innovative ideas drawn from classical sources (he has a restive habit of starting new projects and companies).
But his restless soul brought him back to philosophy. He had heard of Dietrich von Hildebrand while studying St. Edith Stein at the University of Dallas, and was eagerly awaiting the publication of Hildebrand’s Aesthetics, when one day his mentor at UD suggested that he apply for a Summer Fellowship with the Hildebrand Project. So he dropped everything and applied. Now, Christopher has always had the strange practice of including his favorite poets and composers on his resume, and for once, it worked (he always knew it would!): at the Hildebrand Project, he finally found a place where a love for beauty mattered—and thus he returned to the source.
At the end of his Summer Fellowship, he was so excited about the potential of the Hildebrand Project that he refused to leave, finding clever ways to insert himself into vital operations and creating entire program areas with no one to manage them but himself. As a result, he now oversees the Hildebrand Project’s publishing enterprise, marketing, communications, and has helped pioneer a number of innovative and successful programs.
In his free time—when he gets free time—he likes to listen to classical music, write essays, ride two-wheeled vehicles, and build things. He also hosts a weekly theology symposium at a bar in his beloved state of Texas.