Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship

Can War be Just?

Augustinian, Thomistic, and Contemporary Perspectives

9 - 14 June 2024

The IHE and the Thomistic Institute are pleased to announce the 2024 Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship: “Can War Be Just?”

Lectures and seminars will draw on patristic, scholastic, and contemporary perspectives. Students will examine a wealth of scholarly resources on just war theory and consider the application of these principles in public life.

2024 Featured Speakers

Father Cajetan Cuddy, O.P.
Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception

Father Andrew Hofer, O.P.
Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception

Dr. Gregory M. Reichberg
Peace Research Institute Oslo

Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates in all disciplines.

Accepted students will receive funding for the program, including travel and accommodations.

The application deadline is Thursday, 29 February 2024.

Highlights from Civitas Dei 2023

Listen: 2023 Lectures

Highlights from Civitas Dei 2022

Listen: 2022 Lectures

View: 2022 Gallery

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“This Institute, I think, is a very important expression of the renaissance that’s underway at Catholic University in these recent years, and I’m delighted to be part of that.”

About the IHE

The Institute for Human Ecology (IHE) at The Catholic University of America is the nation’s leading academic institute committed to increasing scientific understanding of the economic, cultural, and social conditions vital for human flourishing.

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The Institute for Human Ecology
The Catholic University of America

620 Michigan Avenue NE
339 Caldwell Hall
Washington, DC 20064


The Institute for Human Ecology
The Catholic University of America

620 Michigan Avenue NE
339 Caldwell Hall
Washington, DC 20064


What is the role of religion in society? And how can Catholic scholars draw upon the wisdom of the Church to make sense of today’s economic, cultural, and moral challenges?

Those were the questions at the heart of the Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship, a week-long seminar held July 15 through 20. Sponsored by Catholic University’s Institute for Human Ecology (IHE) and the Thomistic Institute, the program introduced young scholars to foundational themes in the natural law tradition. Speakers during the week included Joseph Capizzi, professor of moral theology and executive director of IHE;  Father Dominic Legge, director of the Thomistic Institute; Adrian Vermeule, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School; and Robert Royal, editor in chief of The Catholic Thing.

The seminar, open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates from top universities around the world, included lectures and discussions on the political and moral theories of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern constitutional jurisprudence, as well as outings to D.C. landmarks including the Supreme Court and the National Portrait Gallery.

Capizzi said the seminar was intended to “introduce the beauty and the depth of the Catholic intellectual tradition to a group of young scholars who we hope will invigorate our universities.”

Throughout the week, the conference included many discussions on religious liberty, the nature of political communities and pluralism, and how the writings of Augustine and Aquinas remain relevant in today’s society.

Capizzi said he hoped that the seminar provided attendees with a sense of community, introducing them to like-minded people “who care about the Church, who care about the faith, and who care about the good of American society.”

“We want them to know that they are not alone in doing their work and that there are resources available to them through the members of this community as well as here at the institute and Catholic University,” Capizzi said. “We hope that they will become outstanding scholars, some of whom may end up teaching here at Catholic.”

The next fellowship will be held July 7-12, 2019.

This article was originally published by The Catholic University of America on July 24, 2018.

Photos by Deirdre McQuade/DMcQuade Studios.