TEACHING CATEGORY

James Arthur

Teaching Character Virtues. A Neo-Aristotelian Approach

James Arthur received his doctorate from Oriel College, University of Oxford in 1992. He is currently Professor of Education and founding Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character in the University of Birmingham (2012-2020). Previously he was Head of the School of Education (2010-2015) and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (2015-2019). He was personally made an Officer of the British Empire by the Queen in 2018 for services to education. He holds numerous academic honours and fellowships including Visiting Professor of the University of Glasgow, Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Oxford and Honorary Senior Fellow at West Point Military Academy. He is Chair of Britain’s Society for Educational Studies, was editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies for ten years, and has sat on numerous government committees and groups in education. He was inducted as the first Director of the National Institute for Christian Education Research (2005-2009) by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2005. He has written widely on virtues, character and education and his recent publications include: The Formation of Character in Education: From Aristotle to the 21st Century (2020), Virtues in the Public Sphere: Citizenship, Civic Friendship and Duty, (2019), and Policy Entrepreneurship in Education: Engagement, Influence and Impact (2018). He is currently writing a book on the Christian Virtues and the Formation of Character (forthcoming 2021) and is Visiting Scholar in the Thomistic Institute at the Angelicum University in Rome for the autumn term 2020. 

 

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focussing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing founded by James Arthur in 2012. The Centre promotes a moral concept of character in order to explore the importance of virtue for public and professional life. The Centre is a leading informant on policy and practice in this area and through its extensive range of research projects contributes to a renewal of character virtues in both individuals and societies. The particular project for which this award has been given is Teaching Character Virtues – A Neo-Aristotelian Approach which captures the amalgam of teaching programmes initiated by James in the Centre from the internationally recognised and influential Framework for Character Education in Schools to the world’s first distance Master’s degree in character education which has also been internationally praised. James has promoted a Neo-Aristotelian approach to virtue and character formation in the academic programmes within the Jubilee Centre and together with the Centre’s staff continues to design award winning and successful academic programmes in character virtues.

RESEARCH CATEGORY

Paul C. Vitz, William J. Nordling and Craig Steven Titus

A Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: Integration of Psychology and Mental Health Practice

Paul C. Vitz is a Senior Scholar and Professor, Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Divine Mercy University; Professor of Psychology Emeritus, New York University.  ( Ph.D. Stanford University).

Dr. Vitz’s work is focused on the integration of Christian theology, especially Catholic anthropology, with psychology and breaks from secularism and post-modern relativism. This is expressed in his work on the just published Catholic Christian Meta Model of the Person. He also addresses: hatred and forgiveness; the  importance of fathers; psychology of atheism; and the complemenentarity of men and women. He has published seven books and many articles, videos, Op-Eds, etc.

William J. Nordling, Ph.D., is a Professor and clinical supervisor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (School of Psychology) at Divine Mercy University. He is one of the co-founding faculty members of the IPS (DMU) and for eighteen years served as Chair of the Department and then as Academic Dean. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is licensed as a clinical psychologist. His areas of expertise include child, marriage, and family therapy. He is widely recognized as an expert in the area of play therapy, and is co-author of the award-winning textbook Child Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children. Dr. Nordling currently holds training faculty appointments in a number of training institutes including the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement (USA), Play Therapy Australia, and ChildPlayWorks (New Zealand). Dr. Nordling was a founding board member and served as president of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association. He also served on the board and as president of the national-level Association for Play Therapy.

Prof. Dr. Craig Steven Titus is professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (Divine Mercy University [DMU], Sterling, Virginia) and director of the Department of Integrative Studies at DMU. His research interests focus on: virtue theory and the psychology of virtue; emotional and moral development; resilience and virtue; and the integration of psychological sciences, philosophy, and theology. He previously worked at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) as Researcher, Instructor, Vice-Director of the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute for Theology and Culture, and Vice-Director of the Servais Pinckaers Archives. His first book Resilience and the virtue of fortitude: Aquinas in dialogue with the psychosocial sciences (Catholic University of America Press [CUA], 2006) sets up a dialogue between virtue theory and the psychosocial research on resilience and overcoming difficulty. He is editor of ten books and co-editor of The Pinckaers reader: Renewing Thomistic moral theology (CUA, 2005). He also published 45 other journal articles and book chapters, for example, in Journal of Positive Psychology; Journal of Psychology and Christianity; Journal of Moral Theology; The Thomist; Edification: The Journal of the Society of Christian Psychology; and Revue d’Ethique et de Théologie Morale. He recently co-edited: A Catholic Christian meta-model of the person: Integration of psychology and mental health practice (DMU Press, 2020), in which he co-authored 17 chapters. Most recently, he published the book chapter entitled “Virtue and resilience: Aquinas’s Christian approach to virtue applied to resilience,” in Biblical and theological visions of resilience: Pastoral and clinical insights (Routledge, 2020).

A Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person integrates the insights of three wisdom traditions—the psychological sciences, philosophy, and theology—to provide a framework for understanding the person. The Meta-Model develops a more systematic, integrative, and non-reductionist vision of the person, marriage, family, and society than is found in any of these three disciplines alone. The Meta-Model is a unifying framework for the integration of already-existing personality theories and therapeutic models. In addition, it enhances assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization, and treatment planning by addressing eleven essential dimensions of the person needed in mental health practice aimed at healing and flourishing. The book also explores how the Meta-Model framework can improve client care. Finally, it demonstrates how the Meta-Model assists mental health professionals to better understand how they can be faithful to their Christian identity as they serve all clients—Christians, persons from other faiths, and non-believers.

RESEARCH CATEGORY

Samuel B. Condic and Maureen L. Condic

Human Embryos Human Beings A Scientific and Philosophical Approach

Dr. Samuel Condic is an associate professor of Philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences and holder of the Cullen Foundation Chair in Business Ethics at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.  His background includes a PhD in philosophy and over 10 years of work experience in and around the oil and gas industry.  In addition to his work in the field of business ethics, he is the co-author of the recently-released book, Human Embryos, Human Beings:  A Scientific & Philosophical Approach, a work which examines human life at its earliest stages. 

Dr. Maureen L. Condic is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pediatrics.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.  Her research focuses on the role of stem cells in development and regeneration, and has been nationally recognized by both the Basil O’Connor and the McKnight awards.  In 2015, she was appointed to the Pontificia Accademia Pro Vita, an international scientific advisory body to the Vatican.  In 2018, she was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Science Board, that oversees the National Science Foundation and advises both the President and Congress on scientific issues.  Dr. Condic participates in graduate and medical education, and has taught Human Embryology at the University of Utah School of Medicine for 20 years.  She has a strong commitment to public education and science literacy, and has presented over 250 seminars and interviews both nationally and internationally on her scientific research, science policy and bioethics.  In 2018, Dr. Condic co-authored a book entitled Human Embryos, Human Beings, that explores the nature of the human embryo from scientific and philosophic perspectives.  Her second book, Untangling Twinning (2020), considers the biologic and philosophic issues raised by human monozygotic twinning.  In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Condic was appointed as the first Ombudsman for the University of Utah in 2014, and she assists all members of the University community (faculty, staff, students and trainees) with informal conflict resolution.

The overall purpose of Human Embryos, Human Beings is to evaluate the human embryo in light of the most recent biological evidence in order to determine as best we are able when genuine human existence begins.  The answer to this question has profound implications for our understanding of both the nature of human embryos and our ethical obligations to them.  The thesis of the book is that sound philosophical reasoning and the available scientific evidence support an “immediate hominization” view of the embryo; i.e., that a human being is present from the moment of fertilization onward.  We examine several long-standing philosophical arguments against immediate hominization that have dominated modern thinking about the embryo and consider several cases where either natural defect or scientific manipulation make the determination of the ontological status of the embryo more difficult.  

Human Embryos, Human Beings is based on the premise that philosophical and scientific approaches are not in conflict and that the most comprehensive understanding of the human embryo is achieved though the rigorous integration of sound philosophy with the best available scientific data.  To this end, in addition to its detailed analysis of the relevant science, the book also includes a presentation of hylomorphism, the philosophical viewpoint employed by the authors to analyze the question.  Often, one finds either a thorough and well-reasoned philosophical account of human nature and human life or a detailed scientific analysis of the process of human development. This book makes a welcome addition to the field by integrating both of these needed elements into a single text.

RESEARCH CATEGORY

William M. R. Simpson

What’s the matter? Toward a neo-Aristotelian ontology of nature

William Simpson is a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of St Andrews. He is a Research Associate of the Divinity Faculty in Cambridge, and a Research Associate of the Ian Ramsey Centre in Oxford. His current work on the philosophy and theology of nature is part of the international project, “God and the book of nature”.

William obtained a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (2016-20), supported by a Blacker-Loewe full doctoral scholarship at Peterhouse, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of St Andrews (2010-14), supported by a SUPA Prize full doctoral scholarship. He has published in the areas of philosophy, physics and theology, and is co-editor of the anthology, “Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science” (with Robert Koons and Nicholas Teh).

William’s doctoral thesis at Cambridge, “What’s the matter? Toward a neo-Aristotelian ontology of nature”, sought to advance a general account of the structure of nature, as it ought to be if the laws of quantum mechanics (or a theory like quantum mechanics) are true. Unlike many such philosophical investigations, his thesis was concerned with seeking an account of nature that can explain how scientific inquiry is possible, as conducted by rational and embodied agents who rely upon macroscopic instruments to perform their experiments. The main argument of his thesis is:

First, that the ‘Quantum Revolution’ that has taken place within physics requires a radical reimagining of the standard micro-reductionist forms of metaphysics that dominated philosophy in the last century, in which the physical properties of a quantum system’s material parts are now seen to depend irreducibly upon the whole of which they are parts.

Secondly, that when we take seriously the diverse kinds of empirical content captured by quantum theories – macroscopic observables, phase transitions, chemical and thermodynamic phenomena – this reimagining is further constrained to take a shape familiar to medieval theologians; namely, the hylomorphism of Aristotle and Aquinas, in which the world consists of a plurality of substantial wholes, composed of both matter and form.

This thesis offers a realist but non-materialist conception of quantum theory, in which there are forms in nature in addition to matter. Forms determine the physical properties of matter, endowing the basic objects of scientific inquiry with their causal powers and grounding the laws of nature.