The Personalist Project


Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project

Call for Papers and Graduate Student Essay Contest

The Power of Beauty

A conference co-sponsored by: 

M.A. Philosophy Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and

The Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project

October 24-25, 2014

Keynote Address
"Beauty and Desecration"
Roger Scruton

Helpful links:


Focus of the Conference

"Beauty will save the world," writes Dostoevsky, yet beauty is seen by many as a weak and expendable arrow in the metaphysical quiver that includes the more robust good and true. Many think of beauty as a mere decoration of human life, a luxury rather than a spiritual necessity. There is indeed a great deal of Kitsch that masquerades as art, and it is not surprising if such "beauty" is not taken seriously. But authentic beauty can have the transformative, even salvific, effects that Dostoevesky ascribes to it.  


Call for Papers

We invite papers that do justice to the particular power of beauty to renew both individual persons and also entire communities. We invite our participants to go beyond a formal defense of the existence of beauty, to glimpse not just the most general traits of beauty, but to capture its power to impart new life, its deep affinity with love, its power to awaken deep aspirations in the human heart. In other words, we invite papers that explore beauty not only metaphysically but also concretely and phenomenologically. We also welcome papers that explore the reasons for the hostility to beauty that some have expressed. We look forward to papers that make heard again the voices of Western philosophy on beauty, voices from Plato to St. Thomas Aquinas to Hegel, including contemporary voices such as Maritain, Ingarden, and von Hildebrand. Artists in philosophical reflection on art are also welcome to submit.

Send paper title and 400-word abstract by September 1, 2014to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Inquiries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Graduate Student Essay Contest

For the best three essays that engage deeply with the philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand, the Hildebrand Project will award the author an all-expenses-paid trip to Steubenville to present their paper.*

Contest is open to current graduate students in any field.

Applicants must submit a complete paper (3,000 words or less) no later than September 15, 2014.

Submit paper to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

*For domestic flights only. Tickets must be purchased at least three weeks in advance. For international students, the Hildebrand Project will contribute the domestic flight equivalent towards international airfare.


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Franciscan University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and is an equal opportunity employer.

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