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Current and Recent Research Projects

VHI researchers are engaged in a range of different research projects across various fields, incorporating or alongside their own personal research. Brief details of currently active and recent research projects are available below, with links to each projects' main page.

Migration, Religion and Catholic Social Thought 

Dr Sara Silvestri, Dr Elif Çetin

This project, funded by the Plater Trust and started in the summer 2015, addresses the following questions: What is the Catholic contribution in the field of migration in the UK? In what ways is Catholic social thought affecting /shaping/ inspiring the work of those involved in services provision for migrants/asylum seekers and in decision making about asylum and migration?


Navigating Impasses in Bioethics: End of Life, Disability, and Mental Illness

Dr Lidia Ripamonti, Dr Thana Campos

This project aims to discuss issues arising from current legislation on medically assisted suicide for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, with a specific focus on mental health. Papers will be presented and discussed at an interdisciplinary workshop which will bring together divergent, often conflicting, perspectives (legal, medical, ethical, anthropological, philosophical, and theological) to re-think some of the key concepts involved in this discussion, such as quality of life, dignified death, autonomy/dependency, mental capacity, unbearable suffering, cultural and social attitudes toward disability.


Dr Flavio Comim

Contemporary development theories emphasise the importance of increasing 'individual freedoms' without giving enough emphasis to what substantively means to have a good life. These theories, inspired by economics and liberal political philosophy, ignore the importance of common good and human values in shaping social policy and development strategies. The project, carried out by Dr Flavio Comim, explores the limitations of current development discourses and puts forward a framework for thinking of common good as a social objective.


Patents on Life: Through the Lenses of Law, Religious Faith and Social Justice

Dr Roman Cholij, Dr Simon Ravenscroft

The Patents on Life project looks at the ethical and religious issues surrounding the patenting of life forms, as well as broader themes in Intellectual Property law as related to questions of ethics and social justice. Its first major event was held in September 2015, with a two-day international conference in Cambridge. Work is continuing on the publication of an edited volume issuing from the papers presented at this conference.


Forms of Life, Forms of Discourse

Rev Dr Boris Gunjevic, Dr Philip McCosker, Dr Simon Ravenscroft

A research group meeting in 2017 to discuss discuss a selection of contemporary texts that reflect critically on the conditions of late-modern life and/or propose ways of living that respond to the challenges of late-modern life. The group is organised in conjunction with faculty members and researchers from various university departments, primarily Divinity and English.


An interdisciplinary research hub inspired by Catholic thought and culture, focussed on contemporary global realities, and dedicated to encounter, dialogue, and transformation