The Newman Lecture 2021 - Human Rights: A Moral Language for Our Times

November 26, 2021

About the talk

Human rights is a vital moral language for our times.  Although the critics of human rights language are many, in this lecture Professor Hogan makes the case for its continued importance.  She discusses some of the shortcomings with the liberal politics of human rights, specifically its excessive individualism, its failure to address growing economic inequalities within and between states, and its anthropocentrism.  Professor Hogan draws on the tradition of Catholic social ethics, as well as on feminist and post-colonial theologies to address these limitations.  She concludes by sketching a theological account of human rights as a moral language through which the requirements of social justice, human flourishing, and ecological sustainability can be established and vindicated.  

About the speaker

Professor Linda Hogan holds the Chair of Ecumenics in the School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin. She is an ethicist with extensive experience in research and teaching in pluralist and multi-religious contexts. Her primary research interests lie in the fields of inter-cultural and inter-religious ethics, social and political ethics, human rights and gender. Publications include Keeping Faith with Human Rights (2015), Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics: Conversations in the World Church (2014; ed. with Agbonkhianmghe Orobator), Religious Voices in Public Places (2009; ed. with Nigel Biggar), Religions and the Politics of Peace and Conflict (2009), Confronting the Truth: Conscience in the Catholic Tradition (2000), and From Women's Experience to Feminist Theology (1995, reissued 2016).

How to attend

This event is held in the Pichette Auditorium at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, and will be live-streamed. You are invited to join us either in person or online. When you register, please indicate which option you prefer.


The John Henry Newman Lecture is held annually by Campion Hall, Blackfriars, and St Benet's Hall in rotation. You can register for this free event here.

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