Join us in helping to bring the best of Bucknell’s traditions into the 21st Century
The Bucknell Program for American Leadership and Citizenship (BPALC) focuses on developing thoughtful and informed civic leadership, by exploring fundamental ideas in the pursuit of truth through higher education. To that end, it draws on classical liberal arts and Great Books approaches to inform and encourage thoughtful and civil dialogue, dissent, and intellectual nonconformity. In the process, it seeks to address big questions of the liberal arts on which citizens need to reflect to live meaningfully in community as a nation, enumerated by Allan Bloom as: “Is there a God? Is there freedom? Is there punishment for evil deeds? Is there certain knowledge? What is human nature? What is a good society?” BPALC also seeks to focus study on values, virtues, practices, and conditions needed to sustain the American republic under the US Constitution. Areas of interest include the nature of liberty, the proper relationship between government and civil society, the proper role or roles of religion in public life, the cultural values and meaning systems that contribute to sustenance of the American nation and form of government, and whether there are objective principles of justice or other moral standards by which to inform action and evaluate decisions in life and community. Through the humanities and sciences, we explore those areas as contexts informing the idea of the American republic, and proper responses to challenges to it today, including from modern totalitarian and technocratic trends.
Art Image: “The Seven Liberal Arts” by Giovanni Del Ponte