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Institute News

We periodically report articles of interest to our readers, but do not necessarily endorse the views of other websites or publications in which those articles also appear.

October 16, 2018

Past Institute Fellow Publishes on Attachment to God and Death Anxiety

Research on Aging Journal Cover

Dr. Jong Hyun Jung recently published a research paper in the journal Research on Aging titled, "Attachment to God and death anxiety in later life: Does race matter?

Jung was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing from Sept. 2017 - May 2018. He is now assistant professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His primary interests focus on religion and mental health. His work has been published in Social ForcesSociological Perspectives, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Article abstract: Research suggests that religion plays a critical role in individuals’ attitudes toward death in later life. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a previously unexamined aspect of religion—secure attachment to God—is associated with death anxiety among U.S. older adults and whether this association varies across race. Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of adults aged 65 and older (N = 936), the analyses reveal that secure attachment to God is associated with a decrease in death anxiety over time. Furthermore, the negative association between secure attachment to God and change in death anxiety is greater for older Blacks than their White counterparts. These results indicate that religion serves a protective function against death anxiety in later life. Moreover, religion provides greater psychological benefits for older Blacks than older Whites, reinforcing a long-standing claim that religion is particularly valuable for individuals from marginalized backgrounds. Read the article

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October 9, 2018

Welcoming our Ninth Education Partner

Longfellow Middle School logo

We are pleased to announce our ninth education partner, Longfellow Middle School, in Norman, Oklahoma! Led by principal Stephanie Williams, the mission of Longfellow is to promote lifelong learning and student achievement.

We look forward to future collaboration!

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September 28, 2018

Request for Proposals Announcement

Seed Sower


“The Self, Virtue, and Public Life”

Nancy E. Snow and Darcia F. Narvaez


The University of Oklahoma, with a generous grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) on the topics of “The Self, Virtue, and Public Life.” The full RFP is available at:

Approximately ten research proposals at approximately $190,000 each will be funded through this initiative. This international grant competition has three primary aims:

  1. To support innovative research on the self, virtue, and public life. 
  2. To encourage methodological innovation in the study of the self, virtue, and public life.
  3. To encourage interdisciplinary teamwork, specifically between social sciences and humanities, though scientists from other areas, such as neuroscience and the health sciences, are also welcome to apply with collaborators from the humanities.

A subsidiary aim is to support scholars who are new to the investigation of these topics or have not received funding elsewhere. Research collaborations between younger and more established scholars are especially encouraged. The central research themes we seek to explore through this RFP can be framed at the level of the civic virtues of individuals, as well as at the level of institutions. For a list of possible research questions, please see the full RFP.

Deep Integration

Research into character and virtue is often conducted by scholars within a single disciplinary perspective – philosophers research by themselves, psychologists team up with each other, historians and anthropologists proceed from their own disciplinary perspectives. This disciplinary isolationism is not maximally productive of new knowledge about virtue. To ensure that research funded by this proposal closes the disciplinary gap, funded research teams must meet the requirement of “deep integration,” as explained in the full RFP.

Application Process

Awards are intended to support research from August 1, 2019, through May 31, 2021. Letters of intent are due no later than December 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM, and must be submitted via an online portal linked to the project website. Full proposals are by invitation only and are due no later than March 15, 2019, at 11:59 PM. Further information is available in the full RFP, on our project website, and by contacting us by e-mail.

Project Website:
Full Request for Proposals:
Contact Email:

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September 6, 2018

Dr. Scott Martin to Speak on Educating for Human Flourishing

Dr. Scott Martin to Speak on Educating for Human Flourishing

On Tuesday, September 18, 7:30pm at the Bricktown Hyatt Hotel, Dr. Scott Martin will discuss the role schools and communities should play in creating an ecology of care to nurture the mental, social, and emotional well-being of our children. 

Dr. Scott Martin is the founder and Executive Director of Odyssey Leadership Academy, one of the Institute's partner schools.

This event is sponsored by the Bricktown Association and is free to the public, though seats are limited. Coffee and desserts will be served. Register now on Eventbrite

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September 5, 2018

Odyssey Leadership Academy Focuses on Intellectual Virtues

Odyssey Leadership Academy visits the Intellectual Virtues Academy

As previously reported, our partner school, Odyssey Leadership Academy (OLA), has begun introducing their students to intellectual virtues. Their recent newsletter describes their summer staff retreat at the Intellectual Virtues Academy in Long Beach, CA, funded by the Institute. As a result of that trip, the school will focus on nine key intellectual virtues throughout the year, beginning with curiosity, humility and autonomy. 

Learn more about how OLA is integrating intellectual virtues into their school

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August 31, 2018

Odyssey Leadership Academy Integrating Intellectual Virtues

Odyssey Leadership Academy Virtues Poster

Our partner school, the Odyssey Leadership Academy, based in Oklahoma City, is working on integrating intellectual virtues into their school culture. They recently shared this poster with us.

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August 15, 2018

New Education Partner - Kennedy Elementary School

Kennedy Elementary School Logo

We are pleased to announce that Kennedy Elementary School has decided to partner with the Institute!

Led by Ms. Lisa Stieg, Kennedy Elementary has already begun orienting the school culture around the Institute's nine virtues. Click here to view a walk-though that features the school's new virtue banners. (Link posted with permission.)

View our other education partners

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August 14, 2018

Dr. Scott Beck and Aristotle

Scott Beck and Aristotle

We were honored to discover our very own Dr. Scott Beck waxing eloquent among some of history's greatest thinkers. We wish to note, however, that although the Institute has no official commitments to any particular school of thought, some of the Institute's constituents were not a little saddened to see that Dr. Beck evidently donned the wrong toga. Still, hope springs anew that even one so devoted as to embody the very gestures of his teacher would, in time, come to see the light and wisdom contained in those pure, hylomorphic truths of the Master.

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July 26, 2018

Conference Announcement: Empathy and Emotions in Morality, Communication, and Human Life

Conference Announcement

Christopher Caulfield is organizing a conference on Empathy and Emotions in Morality, Communication, and Human Life. The event will be held on September 6, 2018, 10am - 2pm Eastern Time. Keynote speakers will include Institute director, Dr. Nancy Snow, and Institute advisory council member, Dr. Darcia Narvaez.

Participants are welcome to participate via video conference. For details, visit the conference website or contact the conference organizer at

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July 24, 2018

New Book on Justice

Book cover: Justice

We are pleased to announce the upcoming publication of a new book on justice, edited by Dr. Mark LeBar (University of Florida). The book is the first in a 15 volume series on virtues or clusters of virtues from Oxford University Press, edited by Institute Director and Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Nancy Snow.

The expected publication dates are August 1 for the hardcover version and September 4 for the paperback. The book is available for pre-order now on

Publisher's Description
A blindfolded woman holding a balance and a sword personifies one of our most significant virtues. We find Lady Justice in statues and paintings that adorn courts and other institutions of law, symbolizing strength and impartiality. Yet why do we valorize this virtue primarily as a quality of societies, and secondly as one of individual character? We can trace the virtue of justice to ancient Greece, where virtue ethics began its long evolution. There justice was seen as one of the most prominent virtues - and arguably the most important of the social virtues. With time, political philosophy diverted focus to understanding justice as a property of societies, and discussion of justice as a virtue of individuals diminished. Read more

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July 16, 2018

Dr. Nancy Snow to Lead $3.9 million Project on Virtue in Public Life

Nancy Snow

The University of Oklahoma was recently awarded a $3.9 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust to study the self and virtue in public life. Institute Director, Dr. Nancy Snow, will serve as the Project Investigator for the 36-month grant. She will collaborate with Professor of Psychology Dr. Darcia Narvaez (University of Notre Dame) and other researchers throughout the project.

"The Self, Virtue, and Public Life" project is scheduled to begin September 1, 2018 and will support a variety of research activities and public events, including:

  • Approximately 10 new research projects;
  • Research conferences;
  • Several monographs and edited volumes;
  • Public lectures;
  • The "Civic Virtues Project," which will integrate civic virtues into classes at three Norman schools and produce a publicly available "Teachers Guide to Civic Virtue";
  • Workshops in collaboration with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.

The research projects will be selected via an internationally distributed Request for Proposals. If you are interested in being notified when the RFP is released, please join the Institute's mailing list.

Read OU's press release here (issued June 27, 2018)

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May 1, 2018

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Teaches the Virtues

OKC Center for Nonprofits teaches the virtues

We have been working with one of our community organization partners, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, to help integrate our nine virtues into their programing for non-profit leaders.

The picture above is from the first of eighteen sessions in a new leadership and professional development program for the Muskogee Creek Nation. The program uses our nine virtues as a framework for the course, with the three main course components focusing on the Intellectual Virtues, the Executive Virtues and the Civic Virtues.

Learn more about the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

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