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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

‘Habit Matters: The bodily Character of the Virtues’ by Professor Stanley Hauerwas


On the 30th October 2012 the Von Hügel  Institute celebrated its Silver Jubilee with the Lecture: ‘Habit Matters: The bodily Character of the Virtues’ delivered by Professor Stanley Hauerwas. The Lecture was part of a Public Lecture Tour by Professor Hauerwas (the other lectures being at the Centre for Catholic Studies, University of University and Blackfriars Oxford) and was chaired by Professor Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, Honorary Fellow of St Edmund's College and Patron of the VHI.

In his lecture Professor Hauerwas investigated how we develop habits and virtues and discuss the works of Aristotle and Aquinas as well as the results from modern psychology. Why should I be moral? What is the nature of habits? How are virtues, will and passions interconnected? How are our bodies significant for our moral life? Is a moral life to be understood as a life of virtues?

Stanley Hauerwas joined the University of Notre Dame in 1970. He was later invited to assume a faculty position at the Divinity School of Duke University in 1983,where he currently teaches in the area of theological ethics. His work cuts across disciplinary lines as he is in conversation with systematic theology, philosophical theology and ethics, political theory, as well as the philosophy of social science and medical ethics.

Professor McAleese served two terms as President of the Republic of Ireland from 1997-2011. She was Reid Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin and later Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at QUB, where she is now Professor Emerita. She has a long standing commitment to issues of social justice and a keen interest in Catholic Social Thought.   

The paper delivered by Professor Hauerwas and the audio-recording of the conference are available online.



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