Each year STILLPOINT and the Jerusalem and Athens Forum sponsor an essay contest open to all students in the program. Topics are chosen that challenge students to address an important current issue in light of reading and seminar discussions. A winner (•) and two honorable mentions are named each year.
2015 | Appearance and Reality
JAF participants and alumni of the program were invited to explore the 2015 Symposium topic, "Why is it that what seems to be often is not what is?"—and to integrate into their essay relevant reflections on works of philosophy, literature and theology that they encountered as JAF participants.
2014 | The Presence of the Past
Contestants were invited to reflect on the 2014 Symposium topic for this year's competition: "The Presence of the Past: How History, Memory, and Tradition Shape Our Lives." Essays offered relevant reflections on texts from the JAF syllabus.
2013 | What is Beauty?
Contestants were invited to reflect on the Symposium topic for this year's competition. Essays offered relevant reflections on texts from the JAF syllabus.
2012 | Politics and its Limits in Christian Perspective
Taking their cue from standard thinkers from the JAF reading list--Plato, Augustine, Dante, Luther, Calvin, Weber, and others--students develop essays on the promise and peril of contemporary political engagement.
2011 | The Seven Deadly Sins
Taking their cue from Dante’s Purgatorio, students develop a broadly accessible essay on one of the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, lust.
2010 | LOVE AND HUMAN INTELLIGENCE
Taking their cue from Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” students developed essays on the relationship between the virtue of love and the possibilities of human intelligence.
2009 | IMAGO DEI: HUMAN DIGNITY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
Students considered how a Christian understanding of the Imago Dei can help us think well and wisely about the biotechnological age we are now entering.
2008 | WHAT DOES THE CITY OF GOD HAVE TO DO WITH THE CITY OF MAN?
Students submitted essays considering the age-old question of the relationship of the City of Man to the City of God (civitas Dei). Are we to be hypersojourners, aloof from the "powers and principalities" of this world? Or are we to be more deeply, "residentially" engaged, eager to endow human civilization itself with the sap of the gospel?
2007 | PONDERING PROGRESS
Students were invited to offer critical reflections on the concept of progress, and especially encouraged to consider how the Christian tradition and moral imagination might contribute to a Christian theology of progress. Students engaged with thinkers as various as George MacDonald, C. S. Lewis, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Augustine of Hippo.