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Upcoming events at Blackfriars, Oxford

Monday, October 28, 2019

News If you are in Oxford, you might be interested in the following events taking place at Blackfriars this term

Blackfriars Aquinas Group

On Mondays of term, a number of students gather to discuss the works of St Thomas Aquinas. The event starts with supper at 7:15 pm, followed by a talk at 8 pm. You can find more information about the group on their Facebook page:


We Talk Locke, We Act Hegel

29th October: 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm GMT

Public lecture by Edward Hadas

Everyone wants to be free, but modern people often feel like cogs in an oppressive social machine. What is going wrong? Part of the answer is philosophical – the inevitable failure of John Locke’s individualism and the seemingly inevitable rise of domineering governments and bureaucracies.

In this lecture, Edward Hadas, a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, will discuss some bad ideas, make a dire prediction and offer a little bit of hope.

Registration is required.

One of The Trinity Was Crucified

7th november: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm gmt

Traditional Christian theology affirms that Jesus of Nazareth is both truly God and truly human. This leads to theological questions about the predication of human and divine attributes to the person of Christ. Did God suffer and die on a cross? Is this man the creator of the world? By examining the traditional ‘rules of predication’ as presented by John Damascene and Thomas Aquinas, one comes to a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation, the suffering of God, and the metaphysics of Creation.

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, is the director of the Thomistic Institute at the Angelicum in Rome. Originally a native of southeastern Georgia, Fr. White studied at Brown University, where he converted to Catholicism. He did his doctoral studies at Oxford University and is the author of The light of Christ: An Introduction to CatholicismWisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Thomistic Study in Natural TheologyThe Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology, and Exodus. He is co-editor of the academic journal Nova et Vetera and, in 2011, was appointed an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Tickets: Free
Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom

The Anscombe Memorial Lecture 2019: ‘Twinning and Human Individuality’

8th November: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm GMT

The 10th Anscombe Memorial Lecture

The lecture is an annual lecture in honour of the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe who taught at Oxford and Cambridge.

This year’s Lecture will be delivered by Dr Maureen Condic, on the subject of identical twinning and the status of the human embryo.

Dr Maureen Condic is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah. She is also a member of the US National Science Board and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Her current research involves the control of human stem cell potency and differentiation. In 2018 she co-authored a book entitled Human Embryos, Human Beings: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach.

The Lecture is co-sponsored by the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, and will be followed by a wine reception.

Registration (free of charge): admin@bioethics.org.uk

Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom

Women in Public Life: Transforming A Culture

11th November: 6:30 am - 8:30 pm GMT

This event is part of ‘The Future of the Humanities’ project organised by the Las Casas Institute and Georgetown University.

Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, is giving a lecture on ‘Women in Public Life: Transforming a Culture’ followed by a Round Table Discussion with Baroness Mary Goudie and Baroness Margaret Prosser to be chaired by Professor Evelyn Welch, Provost, Kings College.

Attendance is free with registration.

Venue: Bush House East Wing, King’s College London - 44-46 Aldwych London, WC2B 4LL United Kingdom

Human Dignity in The Judaeo-Christian Tradition

13th November: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT

Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Perspectives

Book Launch

Dignity is a fundamental aspect of our lives, yet one we rarely pause to consider; our understandings of dignity, on individual, collective and philosophical perspectives, shape how we think, act and relate to others. This book offers an historical survey of how dignity has been understood and explores the concept in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

World-renowned contributors examine the roots of human dignity in classical Greece and Rome and the Scriptures, as well as in the work of theologians, such as St Thomas Aquinas and St John Paul II. Further chapters consider dignity within Renaissance art and sacred music. The volume shows that dignity is also a contemporary issue by analysing situations where the traditional understanding has been challenged by philosophical and policy developments. To this end, further essays look at the role of dignity in discussions about transhumanism, religious freedom, robotics and medicine.

Grounded in the principal Christian traditions of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Protestantism, this book offers an interdisciplinary and cross-period approach to a timely topic. It validates the notion of human dignity and offers an introduction to the field, while also challenging it.

The book is edited by Prof John Loughlin, Fellow at Blackfriars Hall and Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, UK.

Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom

Christian Shakespeare: Question Mark – Talk Series

26th November: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT

The Las Casas Institute, in collaboration with Georgetown University, is holding a series of talks on ‘Christian Shakespeare: Question Mark’ as part of The Future of the Humanities Project and The Humanities Initiative.

The second talk of the series:

Dr Beatrice Groves, Trinity College, Shakespeare  and the Psalms
Prof Michael Collins, Georgetown, Shakespeare  and the Parables

Accompaniment to Virtue

27th November: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm GMT

The Thomistic Institute are very pleased to welcome Fr Romanus Cessario to Oxford. Fr Romanus Cessario, OP completed doctoral studies at the University of Fribourg and continues to carry on research in psychology and moral theology. He is author of more than a hundred articles in theology and related fields and has published eighteen books mostly on the virtues and Christian ethics. Father Cessario teaches at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, and is a Fellow of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Tickets: Free
Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom

Las Casas Institute Annual Lecture – Isabella Tree: Wilding

5th December: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT

Isabella Tree: Wilding – The Return of Nature to a British Farm

Isabella Tree is an award-winning travel writer and author, married to the conservationist Sir Charles Burrell. Together they have embarked on a daring wildlife experiment: the rewilding of Knepp Estate in West Sussex.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy Sussex clay was economically ruinous, they decided to step back and let nature take over. By introducing free-roaming herbivores — proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain— the Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again. In less than twenty years wildlife has rocketed and numerous endangered species have made Knepp their home.

The Knepp experience challenges conventional ideas about our past and present landscape, and points the way to a wilder, richer future — a countryside that benefits farming, nature and us.

Venue: St. John’s College, Oxford - St. Giles Oxford, OX1 3JP United Kingdom

Wednesdays of term 4:00-6:00 pm GMT

War, Peace and the Christian: Human Dignity Reading Group

Everyone knows that a “balance of terror” is a poor substitute for the true peace of human flourishing. Pope Paul VI said, “No more war!, war never again”. How can Christians help bridge the gap between the dire reality of actual and threatened military destruction and the Christian aspiration for the “peace which surpasses all understanding”?

For general background on the topic please see:

Lisa Sowle Cahill, Love your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994)

All meetings will be held between 4 and 6pm in the Aquinas Room, 17 Beaumont Street.

6th November 2019

Development as Peace: This session will investigate the meaning behind Paul VI’s famous dictum ‘if you want justice, work for peace’.

20th November 2019

The Human Person and the Nature of Peace: This session will explore the relationship between God’s plan for humanity and the need to pursue peace.

4th December 2019

The Environment: during this session we will discuss the relationship between care for creation and peace.

You can see detailed information on each of the events here.



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