skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Simon Ravenscroft

Dr Simon Ravenscroft

Research Associate

Outreach Co-ordinator (Arts and Humanities), University of Cambridge


Simon joined the VHI in April 2015, having recently completed his PhD in philosophy of religion at Peterhouse, Cambridge. His doctoral research was funded by the AHRC, and concerned a critical re-interpretation of the work of the radical Catholic social theorist and philosopher of history Ivan Illich (1926-2002).

At the VHI Simon has co-organised the 'St Paul and Radical Philosophy' reading group in 2016, and the 'Forms of Life, Forms of Discourse' seminar in 2017. He led the organisation of the 2015 'Patents on Life' conference, and is continuing work on an edited volume issuing from that event.

He was Murphy Research Fellow at the VHI from June 2016 to August 2017, a position held in conjunction with the Murphy Institute at the University of St Thomas, Minnesota. Alongside his research he co-ordinates outreach activities across the University's School of Arts and Humanities.

Research Interests

Simon’s work sits at the rather busy intersection of theology, philosophy, literature, political and social theory, and economics. His specific research at the VHI is looking at laughter as a means of affirmation. He is interested in ideas of folly, especially where considered wise or holy; the relationship between joy and sorrow; irony in a non-cynical mode; and ambiguity.

Key Publications

Selected academic

  • Patents on Life: Through the Lenses of Law, Religion, and Global Justice (co-edited with Thomas C. Berg and Roman Cholij – title tbc). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018/19.

  • "Morality, Religion, and Patents", with Kathleen Liddell, in the above volume.
  • “Charité, amour et don dans l'oeuvre d'Ivan Illich”. In Ivan Illich, l'alchimiste des possibles, edited by Martin Fortier and Thierry Paquot, 165-211. Paris: Lemieux Editeur, 2016.
  • "Producing Happiness: Huxley and Dostoevsky on Love and Politics". Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics 2 (2015): 47-55.

 Popular articles, essays etc.


Centre of Science & Policy:

Twitter: @S_R_Ravenscroft


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