Conference Programme

see details of conference speakers and a tentative schedule below

Public and Plenary Speakers

Farr A Curlin, MD

is Josiah C Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine, and the Duke Divinity School, at Duke University. Before moving to Duke in 2014, he founded and was Co-Director of the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago. At Duke, Farr practices palliative medicine and works with colleagues in the Trent Center and the Divinity School’s Initiative on Theology, Medicine, and Culture to develop opportunities for study and scholarship at the intersection of theology, ethics and medicine. He is interested in the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice—particularly the doctor-patient relationship, the moral and professional formation of physicians, and practices of care for patients at the end of life.

Frederik (Frits) de Lange, PhD

is Professor of Ethics at the Protestant Theological University, Groningen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology at the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South-Africa. Since 2005 his research concentrates on questions related to modern life course, gerontology, and the ethics of care. He wrote several books on the subject: De mythe van het voltooide leven [The Myth of a Completed Life], 2007; De armoede van het zwitserlevengevoel [The Shabbiness of Third Age Hedonism], 2008; and Waardigheid voor wie oud wil worden [Dignity—for who wants to grow old], 2010; In andermans handen: Over flow en grenzen in de zorg [In someone else’s hands. On flow and limits in care], 2011. As a Member in Residence of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, he published Loving Later Life: An Ethics of Aging (Eerdmans, 2015). 

Elizabeth (Els) van Wijngaarden

is Associate Professor in Care Ethics at the Universiteit Voor Humanistiek [University of Humanistic Studies], Utrecht, The Netherlands. With her PhD on ‘completed life in old age’, she was the first to explore experiences of relatively healthy older people with a strong wish for a self-directed death as they considered their lives no longer worth living. Her study was awarded the prestigious Research Prize 2017 of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. With her current research she builds on this pioneering work, focussing on death and dying in old age with a specific interest for and the role of choice and control at the end-of-life. Her other research interests include: dementia, experiences of suffering, meaning and meaninglessness at the end-of-life. 

Session Speakers

Katherine Froggatt, PhD

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has worked in ageing and palliative care for over 30 years, having qualified as a nurse before moving into higher education working in nursing and applied health research departments. From 2013 to 2019 she was Professor of Ageing and Palliative Care at the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University. She is currently undertaking a Grey Gap year exploring ways to develop her work in these areas.

Christopher Hamilton, PhD

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is Reader in Philosophy at King’s College London. He works at the intersection of philosophy, literature and film. He has published 5 books, the most recent being A Philosophy of Tragedy (Reaktion, 2016), and articles on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Simone Weil, W.G. Sebald, Alain Resnais and Primo Levi, as well as in ethics and philosophy of religion. He is currently working on a book on philosophy and autobiography.

Sarah Harper, CBE, DPhil

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 is Clore Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, a Fellow at University College, and the Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Sarah served on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on the scientific evidence for strategic policies and frameworks. In 2017 she served as the  Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Sarah is a Director and Trustee of the UK Research Integrity Office and a member of the Board of Health Data Research UK. Sarah was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Demography.

Joshua Hordern, PhD

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 is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics in the Faculty of Theology and Religion and a Governing Body Fellow of Harris Manchester College. He leads the Oxford Healthcare Values Partnership, collaborating closely with cross-disciplinary academic colleagues, the UK Medical Research Council/Cancer UK funded Stratification in Colorectal Cancer Consortium, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine and a number of patient organisations. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians Committee for Ethical Issues in Medicine and co-author of the RCP’s report Advancing Medical Professionalism (2018). He is also the Humanities Division academic lead for the Medical Humanities/Humanities and Healthcare programmes and sits on the TORCH management committee.

Michael Mawson, PhD

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Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology and Ethics and Research Fellow at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University, Australia.  He was previously Senior Lecturer in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen.  He is the author of Christ Existing as Community: Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology (OUP, 2018) and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (OUP, 2019).  He is currently working on a new book on theology, phenomenology and ageing.

Ashley Moyse, PhD

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is the McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow in Christian Ethics and Public Life, and member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford. His research labours to engage with both theological and philosophical ethics, with particular interests in philosophy of technology, bioethics, and medical humanities. He has published several books, including a recent co-edited anthology, Treating the Body in Medicine and Religion: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives (Routledge, 2019), and a forthcoming monograph in the Dispatches book series, The art of living for the technological age: Toward a humanizing performance (Fortress, 2020).

Seamus O'Mahony, MD

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is a gastroenterologist and general physician at Cork University Hospital, and clinical professor at University College Cork Medical School, where he teaches the medical humanities, ethics, and professionalism.  He worked for many years in the NHS, and since 2001 has been based in his home city. He has been a critic of his own profession, and his books include The Way We Die Now, which  won the BMA Chairman’s Choice award in 2017, and Can Medicine Be Cured? which was published in 2019. He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review of Books and the Medical Independent; he has written also for the Observer, the Daily Mail, the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner and the Saturday Evening Post. He is a member of the Lancet Commission on “The Value of Death”.

Autumn Alcott Ridenour, PhD

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is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Her primary interests are in the areas of theological, philosophical, social, and bioethics, with attention to history and systematic theology. She is the author of Sabbath Rest as Vocation: Aging Towards Death (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018) and has published articles in Christian Bioethics, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, The Hastings Center Report and several book chapters for edited volumes. Her current research project surrounds the interface of smartphones, devices, and the theological significance of presence within relationships. 

Nicola de Savary, MBBS

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is a consultant geriatrician and general physician at Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust.

Tyler VanderWeele, PhD

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is John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. he is also Co-Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality and Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, and, for the 2019-2020 academic year, the George Eastman Visiting Professor at Balliol College, University of Oxford. He holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and the University of Pennsylvania, in mathematics, philosophy, theology, finance and applied economics, and biostatistics. His research spans social and psychiatric epidemiology; methodology for causal inference and measurement; the science of happiness and flourishing; and the study of religion and health, including both religion and population health and the role of religion and spirituality in end-of-life care. He is the recipient of the 2017 COPSS Presidents’ Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. He has published over three hundred papers in peer-reviewed journals, and is author of the book Explanation in Causal Inference, published by Oxford University Press.

Conference Schedule*

*The Schedule is Subject to Change Until the Start of the Conference


All events will take place at the Sir Michael Drummett Lecture Theatre and adjacent Exhibition Space,
Blue Boar Quad, Christ Church, University of Oxford, St Aldates, Oxford  OX1 1DP

Pre-Conference Events

27 May 2020


Wednesday

5.00pm Public lecture and response
        Farr Curlin, MD, Duke University
       
Respondent. TBD

6.30pm Reception
        Open to all guests

7.20pm Dinner
        Public speaker and invited guests


Conference Schedule

28-29 May 2020


Thursday

8.15am Registration

9.00am Introductions and welcome

9.10am Plenary address and response

        Frits de Lange, PhD, Protestantse Theologische Universiteit
       
Respondent, TBD

10.30am Break

        Refreshments available

11.00am Paper presentation

11.40am Paper presentation 

12.20pm Paper presentation

1.00pm Lunch 

        Open to all registered guests

2.30pm Paper presentation

3.10pm Paper presentation

3.50pm Break

        Refreshments available

4.10pm Paper presentation

4.50pm Paper presentation

5.30pm Wrap-up 

5.40pm Reception

        Open to all registered guests

7.20pm Dinner 

        Conference presenters and invited guests


Friday

8.15am Registration

9.00am Introductions and welcome

9.10am Plenary address and response

        Els van WijnGaarden, PhD, Universiteit Voor Humanistiek
       
Respondent, TBD

10.30am Break

        Refreshments available

11.00am Paper presentation

11.40am Paper presentation 

12.20pm Paper presentation

1.00pm Wrap-up
1.30pm Lunch 
        Open to all registered guests

        Farewell to conference guests


Closed Conference Events

29 May 2020


Friday

2.30pm Roundtable discussion

        Rapporteurs, conference presenters, and invited guests 

3.50pm Wrap-up and conclude

The McDonald Centre fosters conversation both between Christian theology and other disciplines, and between academia and those who shape public deliberation and policy. Into its discussions it draws scholars from around the world, as well as public office-holders, civil servants, policy-makers, and opinion-formers. By publishing the research it supports, the Centre communicates to academic, church, and wider public audiences. The work of the Centre responds to a growing awareness that sensitively engaged and carefully articulated moral and political theology has an important contribution to make to the flourishing of institutions and individuals within liberal democracies.