The Culture of Prosperity

The cultural life of a society includes traditions and innovations in the visual, musical and literary arts, patterns of thought in philosophical and religious debates, as well as scientific speculation and experimentation. Intuition, inspiration and ambition guide the novelist, painter and composer. Vision, prophecy and intellectual insight produce the great texts of the philosophers, jurists and theologians. And the varieties revealed in the natural order—just like the unities that prevail in the cosmos—impel the biologist, mathematician and physicist towards the discoveries that change our appreciation of the world and of the role that we play within it.

The values that motivate individuals, societies and nations are reflected and encapsulated in the cultural achievements that endure—whether read in books or beheld in buildings, disclosed on canvases, analysed in laboratories or heard in the debates whose conclusions transform our understanding of the private self and the public good. These are the means by which successive generations have achieved greater self-knowledge and the study of their significance, both in the past and the present, animates 'The Culture of Prosperity'.


  • Prosperity: An Aristotelian Legacy, essay by Hywel Williams, September 2016 [PDF]
  • The Culture of Prosperity Video Playlist [Watch]


History of Capitalism

In the wake of the banking collapse of 2008 capitalism has had to surmount a profound economic crisis while also confronting severe attacks on its code of ethics. This three-year course will investigate the origins and development of a movement of thought and endeavour which has transformed the human condition.            


Architecture of Prosperity

This programme evaluates the impact of the built environment on human well-being and the capacity for creativity. The series of lectures, seminars and conferences will address the central question of why some forms of architecture promote prosperity while others are linked to vicious effects.


Roads to Freedom

This series offers a progress report on the idea of freedom. The history of the developed west has been shaped by the increased degree of freedom exercised by individuals who have been able to escape the constraints that prevailed in the past. The programme's lecturers will be drawing conclusions from the study of the past while also seeking to find ways of removing the obstacles to freedom’s progress.