Man and Society

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John Varley - The Camel and the Eye of the Needle

John Varley was educated at Downside, then Oriel College, Oxford, and afterwards at the College of Law. After a few years working as a solicitor he joined Barclays Bank in 1982. From 2004 until 2010 he was Group Chief Executive of the Bank. He sits currently on the boards of Blackrock, AstraZeneca and Rio Tinto Zinc. He also chairs Business Action on Homelessness and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The paper was essentially a personal reflection on the role morality should play in finance.

It was conducted under the Chatham House rule at the Thomas More Institute on Wednesday 21 March 2012.


Prof. John Cottingham - Conscience, Authority and Conflict

Prof. Cottingham is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading, as well as a Professorial Research Fellow of Heythrop College, University of London, and an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford, where he started out as an undergraduate. He is also Editor of Ratio, the international journal of analytic philosophy. His principal research interests are in early-modern philosophy (especially Descartes), moral philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. He has published eleven books as sole author, including Descartes, The Rationalists, Philosophy and the Good Life, and On the Meaning of Life. Among his recent books are The Spiritual Dimension (2005), which deals with central themes in the philosophy of religion, and Cartesian Reflections (2008), a collection of his papers on Descartes.

The following is the text of a seminar paper given by Prof. John Cottingham at the Thomas More Institute on Wednesday 29 February 2011.*


Prof. William Wagner - 'Conscience' as an aspect of 'Religion' Under the Religion Clauses of the United States' Constitution: The Current State of the Question

Prof. William Wagner is professor of law and director of the Program of Studies in Jurisprudence at the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, where he is also Faculty Editor of the Journal of Law, Philosophy and Culture. He has a J.D. from Yale University Law School, and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology from The Catholic University of America. He has taught, published widely, and organised leading conferences in jurisprudence, law and religion, and constitutional law. He has most recently published on ‘The Changing Meaning of Tolerance in American Constitutional Law’ (2011). A member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Jurisprudenceand the American Journal of Comparative Law, he has been Fulbright Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Public International and Comparative Law, Heidelberg, and Visiting Research Professor at the Faculty of Law and Center for Religion and Society, Bonn. Currently he is a visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Transcript coming soon.


Archbishop Vincent Nichols - 'Faith in God is not a problem to be solved, but a vital part of the national conversation’ (Benedict XVI)

The Most Rev. Vincent Nichols has been Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Roman Catholic Bishop's Conference for England and Wales since 2009.

The following is the transcript of a lecture given by the Archbishop at the Thomas More Institute on 7 December 2011.


Dr. Ariberto Fassati - Conscience and Values in the Response to Infectious Diseases

Dr. Fassati is a graduate in Medicine from the University of Milan, Italy, and is a board-certified neurologist. He obtained a PhD from UMDS Guyʼs Hospital, London, and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Prize International Fellowship to work at Columbia University, New York, where he specialised in virology. He returned to the UK and was awarded a Wellcome Trust University Award at University College London (UCL). He is now Reader in Cellular and Molecular Virology and the Director of the Wohl Virion Centre at UCL. His main interests are Retroviruses and transmissible cancers. Dr. Fassati is an Associate Editor of the journal Retrovirology and a faculty member of Faculty1000 Medicine.

The following is the transcript of a seminar paper given by Dr. Ariberto Fassati at the Thomas More Institute on 12 October 2011.


Piers Tattersall - Unravelling Values: Has Conscience Anything to Do with Aesthetic Taste?

Piers Tattersall is a musician who has studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal College of Music. His works have been performed at Salisbury Cathedral, Cadogan Hall, and Peacock Theatre (Saddlers Wells). He has worked with groups like The Orpheus Sinfonia, London Children’s Ballet, The Composers Ensemble, and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as student orchestras. He is now working on a commission from the Britten Sinfonia for solo violin and chamber orchestra to be performed by the Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud.  He is an Intern of the Thomas More Institute, devoting a portion of his time to research, in respect of which this paper amounts to ‘work in progress’.

The following paper was given by Piers Tattersall at the Thomas More Institute on 25 May 2011


The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali - Britain on the Brink: What has Christian Faith to Do with Essential Values?

The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali had his early education in Pakistan where he has a family background that is both Christian and Muslim. He holds British and Pakistani citizenships. His university education was received at Karachi, Cambridge and Oxford, and he has taught theology at university level in both countries. In Pakistan he served as an Anglican parish priest, as Provost of Lahore Cathedral, and as first Bishop of Raiwind. From 1994 until his resignation in 1999 he was Bishop of Rochester, the first non-white diocesan bishop in the Church of England. He has published widely and spoken often on themes related to faith and public policy, and he has been untiring in pointing out the importance of the Judaeo-Christian tradition to the future of the West. He is besides a poet in both English and Persian.

The following is the transcript of a seminar paper given by the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali at the Thomas More Institute on 6 April 2011

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Detter de Frankopan - New Forms of Sovereignty and the Right to Protect (R2P)

Prof. Dr. Frankopan is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Stockholm University and sometime Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall and of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She is now a practising Barrister in London. She holds two doctorates, a D.Phil. from Oxford and a Jur. Dr. degree from Stockholm, as well as a Licence en droit from Paris and a Diploma in European Law from Turin. She has published fourteen books on international law, including The Law of War, published by Cambridge University Press (2nd edn.., 2000; 3rd edn., in preparation).

The following is a transcript of a seminar paper given by Prof. Dr. Ingrid Detter de Frankopan at the Thomas More Institute on 16 March 2011

Professor Brenda Almond - The Right to Disagree: Challenging the New Orthodoxy About the Family

Professor Brenda Almond is Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull. She holds an honorary doctorate for her work in philosophy from Utrecht University and is an elected foreign member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The following paper was given by Professor Almond at the Thomas More Institute on 26 January 2011

Fiona Scolding - Religion and Equality: Incompatible Concepts?

Fiona Scolding is a barrister at Hardwicke Building in London who practises in the area of education and human rights work. She has been involved in a number of cases about the interrelationship of faith and equality, especially in the educational context.

The following seminar was given by Fiona Scolding on religion and equality at the Thomas More Institute on 15 December 2010

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