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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Adult courses

The Seven Deadly Sins: Still Deadly? Still Sins?

Week 2: July 15-21, 2012

The registration period for this program has passed.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Lust, greed, gluttony. . . . For nearly two thousand years the moral imagination of the West has been captivated by a short list of "sins" or vices. Why these? What do they tell us about our moral consciousness or about the fears and aspirations of human nature? Are the deadly sins of the Middle Ages the same as those of the twenty-first century, or do the traditional lists need updating? Perhaps what was once thought of as sin has been replaced by more scientific notions: psychopathology, maladaptive behavior, mental illness. Scott MacDonald, the Norma K. Regan Professor of Christian Studies and Philosophy, and David Pizarro, associate professor of psychology, will guide our inquiry with compelling ideas and good humor as we consider what psychology, neurobiology, and the behavioral sciences can tell us about phenomena that Thomas Aquinas, Dante, and other great thinkers and writers have called "the deadly sins."

This course has been designated our annual "Ralph Janis Seminar in History" and, as such, is supported by a fund established in 2005 to honor CAU director emeritus Ralph Janis for his years of distinguished leadership.


Once you've registered, we'll send you materials on the academic program and other information to help you prepare for CAU. A $50 per person, per class, non-refundable deposit is required with your registration. All deposits are applied to the full program charges. Register now!

Program charges

Below are the program fees and housing choices for the on-campus summer programs. Please contact us if you have questions.

For those staying on campus, the program fee (per adult, per week) covers the course, lodging, sixteen meals, coffee breaks, hospitality hours, welcome and farewell parties, conference-lot parking fees, and use of most of Cornell’s campus facilities. Some courses have additional fees. Wednesday supper is on your own. Some campus facilities, such as the golf course, also charge specific user fees. Weekly program rates vary with the accommodation you select:

Program fee including on-campus housing and meals

  • Court/Kay Hall: double occupancy per adult $1,932, single supplement $100
  • Room w/private bathroom: double occupancy per adult $1,990, single supplement $150

Program fee for commuters and for those staying at Hilton Homewood Suites*: $1,115

*This fee does not include housing or meals. If you wish to stay at Hilton Homewood Suites, please call 607.266.0000 to make a reservation in the CAU block.

Commuter meal plan option: $425. Most CAUers staying at Hilton Homewood Suites select our meal plan for the week in order to enjoy the full CAU experience.