Dr Anna Abram
Dr Anna Abram

Anna Abram

My interest in Ignatian spirituality is both personal and professional. Currently, I teach a variety of courses in ethics at Heythrop College where I am also Head of Pastoral and Social Studies Department. I completed my first degree in theology with special focus on moral theology at Cardinal Wyszynski University in Warsaw in 1992. I read Christian Ethics at Heythrop College (MTh, 1994 and PhD, 2001). My doctoral thesis (supervised by Dr Philip Endean SJ and Dr Bernard Hoose) was an interdisciplinary study of moral development from the perspective of developmental moral psychology and virtue ethics. My teaching experience began in Poland in 1990, at the time when religious education for the first time since the fall of communism was formally introduced to schools. While studying theology I taught ‘religion’ (religious education with a particular focus on Catholic Christianity) to primary school children. My experience of teaching adults began at the Jesuit Theology Programme in Campion House, Osterley, and it developed through my appointment in 2003 at the Missionary Institute London (Middlessex University and Catholic University Leuven) where until June 2006 I was a core lecturer in Christian Ethics and Moral Theology. I joined the faculty staff of Heythrop College in September 2006.

My academic key interest is ‘moral development’ and a set of ideas associated with it such as moral ‘skill’, ‘habit, ‘luck’, ‘lack’, and ‘growth-through-moral-failure’. I am also interested in the relationship between morality and spirituality, Ignatian model of spiritual discernment and patterns of moral decision making. I am passionate about such questions as: ‘do we need to be religious in order to be moral?’, ‘can we be saved by being moral?’, ‘what does being moral really mean?’; ‘what is conscience?, ‘what do we need in order to foster ‘moral seeing’?’.  In my approach to ethics, using ‘moral imagination’ (my favourite conceptual tool), I (increasingly) draw from art, in particular literature and visual arts.  Another area of ethics to which I am committed is (broadly defined and geographically represented) ‘global ethics’.  I am a co-editor (together Dr Janusz Salamon, Charles University Prague and New York University) of a new (and, I hope, exciting, inter-disciplinary) book series Bloomsbury Studies in Global Ethics. I work closely with Jesuit academic institutions in Poland, especially in my roles as a co-editor of Forum Philosophicum, based at Krakow University School of Philosophy and Education (WSFP Ignatianum) and as a member of Editorial Board of Studia Bobolanum (based at Collegium Bobolanum in Warsaw). In my spare time, I do a lot of walking, some yoga, and, occasionally, I delight in visiting rabbit shows (through my membership of the British Mini-Rex Club).