Welcome to the Eric Voegelin Institute

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The Eric Voegelin Institute (EVI) honors the scholarship and memory of Erich Hermann Wilhelm Voegelin, one of the greatest teachers in the history of Louisiana State University, a man widely recognized as one of the premier minds of the 20th century.

Established in March 1987, EVI is a humanities and social sciences research institute devoted to the revitalization of teaching and understanding of the “great books” of Western civilization in comparison with other traditions.

The institute’s principal activities involve seminars and conferences, research, publications, and teaching focused on the life and works of Voegelin and on the ideas and questions that animated his thought.

Eric Voegelin came to America in the early 1940s as a refugee from Nazi Germany, having been fired as an associate professor at the University of Vienna in 1938 because of his resolute scholarly opposition to Adolf Hitler.  During his LSU career between 1942 and 1958, Voegelin was named the university’s first Boyd Professor, the highest academic rank LSU can bestow.

Voegelin dedicated his life to the study of widespread political violence and the devastation that results when totalitarian ideologies that closely resemble religions foster the notion that pursuing the creation of utopias on Earth is achievable and worth any cost, including death.


The Institute notes with sadness the passing of our founder, Ellis Sandoz, on September 19, 2023.  His obituary may be found HERE, and a lovely tribute by Voegelin Society president David Walsh is HERE.  Todd Myers, a former student of Dr. Sandoz, added his own tribute HERE.


In spring 2023, we hosted a series of online talks, archived here: “Eric Voegelin & his Interlocutors”

Eric Voegelin Portrait

In spring 2022, we hosted a series of online talks, archived here: “Who Was Eric Voegelin & What Did He Think?”

Four Images of Eric Voegelin Through the Years


The Voegelin Institute hosted a national convening on history and civics education on February 3-4, 2020, which brought to campus civics educators together with political scientists and historians to develop a “roadmap” for reform — funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  [Read the NEH press release here.]  Public release of the report was on Tuesday, March 2, 2021; read the report HERE.  Articles by the Institute’s director explaining and defending the report against its critics can be found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.


Read our Summer 2023 NEWSLETTER [text version]


Archive on APSA Governance Reform


“EVI has become a focal point of political philosophy, both nationally and internationally."

Thomas A. Hollweck, PhD
University of Colorado

“EVI, is of singular importance to the intellectual visibility of LSU…”

Barry Cooper, PhD
University of Calga

Give to the Voegelin Institute - click to donate

Upcoming Events

Fall 2024 EVENTS

Thursday, September 12 -- Teresa M. Bejan, University of Oxford, Lecture