The Virtues and Vices of Hope 3

This is a joint research seminar of Campion Hall and the Aquinas Institute, Blackfriars Hall, open to graduate students and academics in the University of Oxford. The seminars take place on Tuesdays during Michaelmas, 11am-1pm.

It is widely recognized that hope is a perennial feature of what it means to be human. Today, it is also an especially timely quality: in the face of unprecedented social, political, and ecological challenges, and with escalating anxiety about what we will pass on to future generations, our capacity to sustain our hope acquires an existential urgency. Across disciplines, there is therefore a growing interest in hope: in psychology, politics, and ecological ethics, as well as philosophy and theology.

Taking theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas’s multi-faceted account of hope as a central reference point, this research seminar series will explore the question of the virtues and vices of hope, as well as:

1) Engage different disciplines (theology, philosophy, politics, psychology, ecological ethics)
2) Examine both classical sources and contemporary writers
3) Explore different fields of application, including politics and the ecological crisis

Seminar leaders: Dr Nick Austin SJ, Dr Daniel De Haan, Dr Oliver Keenan OP

Reading: Participants are asked to read a set article or chapter in advance of each seminar.

Focus: The focus is on the virtues and vices of hope, especially in the face of current eco-social crises.

Chair, Presenter, Facilitator: Each week, a Chair will frame the seminar’s discussion in the light of the overall series of seminars. A Presenter will make some observations on the set text and theme for that week, and identify some possible foci and questions for the discussion. A Facilitator will oversee the discussion.

Pre-requisites: The reading seminar is open to all graduate students and academics in the University, with some pre-requisites:
1) a commitment to consistent attendance
2) a commitment to reading before each session the set reading
3) willingness to participate in the discussion

If you are interested in attending this seminar series, please contact Dr Daniel De Haan (