Ongoing areas of interest


These are the questions and areas our programming explores.

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Columbia University’s undergraduate curriculum is founded on the Core Curriculum, a set of classes designed to expose students to masterpieces of Western philosophy, religion, political theory, literature, art, and music. The Morningside Institute helps connect the books and culture that students encounter in the classroom with the deep existential questions of their lives. In small seminar discussions, we examine broader questions in light of the Core’s texts, such as whether civilization is good, what a cultural tradition is, and the relationship between imperium and cosmos. We also give students the opportunity to explore more deeply the authors they encounter in their Core courses, and to consider how those authors can help us pursue the truth and live a good life, both individually and as a society.

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Too often in the contemporary academy, religious traditions are overlooked as sources of truth and serious possibilities for ordering human life and knowledge. The Morningside Institute helps students and professors consider ancient religious thinkers in light of modernity. We also examine contemporary authors whose religious traditions allow them to speak to the problems of the modern age, and to learn from it.