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Students in a JAF class JAF Debate team students at the JAF Debate Christian Learning by Andrea de Firenze

Jerusalem & Athens Forum

The Jerusalem and Athens Forum strives to help students reflect on the relationship between faith and intellect, deepen their own sense of vocation, and awaken their capacities for intellectual and moral leadership.

The second-century church father Tertullian famously asked:

"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" "What has the Academy to do with the Church?"

These questions have resonated over Christian learning for centuries, focusing the mind on the relationship between faith and intellect, piety and thought. More broadly, they prompt the reflective Christian to consider what it means to be faithful in the realms of culture, society, science, and politics.

The Jerusalem and Athens Forum is designed to allow promising students to explore these questions in the context of a great books honors program in the history of Christian thought and literature. The two-semester program is founded on the premise that the present and future suffer when the wisdom of the past is neglected.

A major objective of the program is to assist students in cultivating a tradition-informed and morally reflective sense of personal vocation by reading and discussing classic texts, explicitly Christian ones but also others that raise questions of abiding significance for present-day Christian intellectual and moral life. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and welcomes students from all majors and backgrounds.