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-Pursuing the Common Good in the Age of Trump-

2019 Summer Seminar: August 5th-9th

What is the common good? Is it possible to pursue it? Through thinkers such as Plato, This five-day intensive seminar will examine the roots of our current political system, looking at authority, dogma, meaning, and the common good. Students will study the ideas and perspectives behind our modern liberal society and how different ways of thinking have shaped what the common good looks like today. We will read and/or discuss selections of ancient, modern and contemporary writers including:

  • Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and the Old/New Testaments

  • Francis Fukuyama, George Grant, and Mark Lilla

  • Alasdair MacIntyre, Adam B. Seligman, Colin Gunton, and Michael J. Sandel

  • John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Bernard Mandeville, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Adam Smith

  • David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and the Federalist Papers

Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies

Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies


Location: The Seminar will take place in Harvard University's Center for Government and International Studies - 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, USA. This location is an eight minute walk from the Harvard Square T stop (red line). For those driving, there are various parking garages around Harvard Square, ranging from ten to twenty minute walks away.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the Seminar and dinner will be provided on three separate nights: first evening together, at the end of an optional social outing and on the last evening together.

Cost: A $250 registration fee is requested for overhead purposes and represents a small fraction of the true cost of the program. Reading material will be made available free of charge to the accepted applicants at least a month before the seminar. Please get in touch with for more information.

Who Should Apply?

The seminar is open to rising senior high school students and those recently graduated from high school. Sessions begin at 9:30am. The seminar will be capped at fifteen participants.

How to APply?

  • Complete this online application. After completion of the application you will be directed to upload the following:

    • Writing sample of up to 2,000 words.

    • CV or Resume.

The application deadline for the seminar is March 22nd, 2019. Applicants can expect to receive a decision by April 5th, 2019.

About the Seminar Experience

 - Seminar Faculty - 

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Timothy Belk, M.A.

Timothy Belk is the Academic Dean and Assistant Headmaster of Boston Trinity Academy. He has a Master of Arts, Art History with International Politics, and a Master of Philosophy, International Security Studies, both at the University of St. Andrews.


Danilo Petranovich, Ph. D.

Dr. Danilo Petranovich is the Director of the Abigail Adams Institute. He is responsible for the Institute's strategic planning. developing its intellectual mission and academic programming, cultivating faculty and student partners, and contributor outreach in the greater New England area. Dr. Petranovich received his BA from Harvard and his PhD in Political Science from Yale. He taught courses in political theory, social thought, and the humanities at Duke and at Yale. His expertise is in nineteenth century European and American political thought.


- Questions - 

If you have any questions about the seminar or the application process please do not hesitate to send your queries to