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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

Mercy image (Rembrandt), carousel

The Theme of Mercy

What is mercy? What can it look like in action? How does mercy relate to justice? What are the obstacles to practising mercy today? Is it possible or even legitimate in an age of universal human rights?

Pope Francis has surprised the world by consistently highlighting and promoting mercy since the very first days of his papacy. He argues, following Walter Kasper, that mercy is the pre-eminent attribute of God and should thus be the primary characteristic of humans and their actions. This year's series of lectures and events seeks to explore the theme of mercy from the perspective of many disciplines, drawing out its possibilities, permutations, and problems.


All events are held at St Edmund's College (Garden Room) unless otherwise indicated. Free entrance, no booking required.

Friday 30th October at 16:00 - The Annual Von Hügel Lecture 2015

The Price of Truth: Herbert McCabe on Love, Politics, and Death
Denys Turner

Friday 6th November at 16:00

Mercy: The Key to Pope Francis’ Reforms
Austen Ivereigh

Friday 22nd January at 16:00

Narratives of Mercy: Dante’s Paradiso and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure
Robin Kirkpatrick

Friday 19th February at 16:00

The Priority of Mercy: Ontology Not Morality
James Alison

Friday 26th February at 16:00

Mind, Brain, and Mercy
Iain McGilchrist and John Cottingham

Friday 4th March at 16:00 - The Lattey Lecture 2016

Scripture, Liberation Theology and Pope Francis
Nicholas King SJ, response from Christopher Rowland

Wednesday 20th April at 16:00

Works of Mercy in Works of Art
Ben Quash, Maggi Hambling CBE, and James Cahill

The event originally scheduled for Friday 20th May has been cancelled

Thursday 2nd June at 16:00

Mercy and Migration: Panel Discussion
Rory Fox, Martina Liebsch, Sara Silvestri, and Elif Çetin

Wednesday 8th June at 16:00 - Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity

Mercy in the City
Manuel Castells and Philip Sheldrake

Friday 10th June at 16:00 - Old Divinity School, St John's College

Mercy and Music: Lecture Recital
Stephen Hough CBE



A unique institute of advanced studies inspired by Catholic thought and culture, focussed on contemporary global realities, and dedicated to encounter, dialogue, and transformation