Faith, Hope and Love as Virtues in Modernity

Our 2017 end of year conference, ‘Faith, Hope and Love as Virtues in Modernity’ will take place at Senate House, London on Friday and Saturday 23rd – 24th of June, 2017.

For Aquinas, faith, hope and love (caritas) form a distinct set of virtues: the theological virtues. Since Aquinas, the idea of the theological virtues has come under sustained attack: both from within Christian thought, not least from the early Reformers, and then as part of the general challenge on Christendom associated with the European Enlightenment and from thinkers such as Spinoza and Nietzsche. This conference will explore how the theological virtues have fared in modernity, in the wake of these challenges.

Ethics of Powerlessness Study Day – St Helena Hospice

The Ethics of Powerlessness team is running a study day at St Helena Hospice on the 5th June 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

Autonomy Summer School 2017

The Ethics of Powerlessness team will be taking part in the 2017 Autonomy Summer School, delivering modules on the Phenomenology of Powerlessness and The Power to be Oneself on Friday 7th July.

Addiction, powerlessness and 12 step programmes

Addiction is a paradigmatic case of powerlessness. Conversely, powerlessness and the acknowledgement of powerlessness are central to the twelve-step programs, as are references to faith, love and hope. Yet many balk at these programmes’ reliance on trust in a ‘higher power’ and more generally at the crypto-theology they seem to involve. In this workshop, we seek to understand the experiences of powerlessness involved in addiction, to explore the limits of the helpfulness of the twelve-step programs, and to see whether a secularised version would be workable.

Moral Distress and powerlessness

Moral distress is a key concept in nursing and more generally in the context of health care practices. It is the distress experienced by agents who know what the right course of action is but are prevented from taking it by external constraints (material, hierarchical or institutional, for example). Moral distress differs from moral conflict in that there is no dilemma about what to do, but a sense of being powerless to do what one thinks is right. In this workshop, we seek to understand the experience of moral distress, to determine whether/when it is ethically appropriate, and whether faith, hope and love might be of help in dealing with moral distress.