To inform our practical programme and advance academic knowledge, we are conducting a multi-year research project in character and moral formation.
In collaboration with the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life, a research institute at the University of Oxford, the Oxford Character Project is conducting theoretical and empirical research on character and moral formation, investigating and formulating postgraduate-specific accounts of character development, and using quantitative and qualitative tools to measure and improve practical programming. We intend to publish academic articles, chapters, and books that disseminate the results of our research.
Curriculum for Character Development
By integrating high-level academic research and practical programming, Oxford Character Project also intends to develop a curriculum for postgraduate character development, which can be implemented by other universities, professional schools, and educational institutions around the world.
The Arts of Leading
‘The Arts of Leading’ is a research project that has grown out of our engagement with the humanities over the last two years. Our aim is to promote a wider discussion about character and leadership grounded in study of the humanities. Taking leadership as a fundamentally human category and making personal formation and human flourishing central to our discussion, we are seeking to draw diverse voices into a conversation that explores the relation between ideals of effective leadership and questions concerning who we are and who we aspire to become.
See our page on The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) website.
Lectures in this series are detailed below:
Public Sex: Josephine Butler and human trafficking in Victorian England
May 18th 2017, 5:30 - 7:00
Professor Sarah Williams
Professor in the History of Christianity at Regent College, Vancouver
Start where the people are: leadership and the civil rights movement
November 3rd 2016, 17:00 - 19:00
Professor Stephen Tuck
Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford
To listen to Sarah Williams' talk please click on this link Public Sex: Josephine Butler and Human Trafficking in Victorian England
In conjunction with the McDonald Centre, the Oxford Character Project is convening an ongoing academic seminar on ‘The Formation of Moral Character', which invites experts from various disciplines and institutions – including education, business, government, health care, and the military – to discuss their distinctive approaches to leadership and moral formation and to talk with Oxford Character Project leaders and participants about ways to integrate their insights into ongoing efforts in moral education and professional development.
The seminar is convened by Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, and Michael Lamb, McDonald-Templeton Post-Doctoral Fellow in Character and Moral Formation.
Respectful Engagement in Organizations
May 20th 2015, 16:00 - 17:30
Professor Sally Maitlis
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership, Said Business School, University of Oxford
Reinventing the Corporation
June 10th 2015, 16:00 - 17:30
Professor Colin Mayer
Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, Said Business School, University of Oxford
2014 - 2015 Talks
Education in an Ethos at the Royal Military Academy
January 27th 2015
Dr Stephen Deakin
Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst; Respondent: Major-General (ret’d) Tim Cross
Moral forces: The Search for 'Integrity' in Professional Military Development
February 24th 2015
Dr Patrick Mileham
Former soldier and academic; Respondent: Rev Dr Phillip McCormack, Chief Instructor at the UK Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre
Developing Dispositions through Religious Education
November 18th 2014
Dr Marius Felderhof
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham
The Problematics of Character Education
October 21st 2014
Professor Kristján Kristjánsson
Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics, School of Education, University of Birmingham
Ethics through Fiction and Film
What can great books and films teach us about moral complexity and the human experience? How do creative genres engage, provoke, or challenge our values or vision in ways that abstract philosophical analysis cannot? What can we learn from each other by reading books and watching films together?
These are the questions that animate the Oxford Character Project’s Ethics through Fiction and Film Reading Group, which meets each term to discuss novels and films that prompt moral reflection and raise complex questions about the relationship between ethics, fiction, and film.
We have recently discussed the following novels and films:
* Ian McEwan’s Atonement and the 2007 film starring Keira Knightly, James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch
* Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the 1998 film starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover
* Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 film Apocalypse Now
This group is open to postgraduates at the University of Oxford. Postgraduate students from all disciplines and programs are welcome to attend. No specific academic qualifications are required, except an eagerness to explore interesting books and engage thoughtfully and respectfully. The group will meet twice a term – one week to discuss the novel and the next week to watch the film.
The group is organized by Dr Jonathan Brant, Founding Director of the Oxford Character Project. For more information or to join the mailing list, email Jonathan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Publications and Bibliography
Recent Publications by Members of The Oxford Character Project
'A Passion and Its Virtue: Aquinas on Hope and Magnanimity'
Mohr Siebeck, 2015
An article within the edited volume 'Hope' ed. by Ingolf U. Dalferth and Marlene A. BlockBuy now
Select bibliography on character, virtue, and moral formation
Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good
Oxford University Press, 2006Buy now
Oxford University Press, 2011Buy now
The Morality of Happiness
Oxford University Press, 1993Buy now
The Road to Character
Allen Lane, 2015Buy now
Virtue: NOMOS XXXIV
New York University Press, 1992
How Should One Live? Essays on the Virtues
Oxford University Press, 1996
Oxford University Press, 1997Buy now
Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices
Chicago University Press, 2008Buy now
On Virtue Ethics
Oxford University Press, 1999Buy now
Thinking about Leadership
Princeton University Press, 2010Buy now
After Virtue, 2nd Edition
University of Notre Dame Press, 1984Buy now
Moral Character: An Empirical Theory
Oxford University Press, 2013Buy now
Character and Moral Psychology
Oxford University Press, 2014Buy now
Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing
Riverhead Books, 2010Buy now
Virtues and Their Vices
Oxford University Press, 2014Buy now
Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge
Cambridge University Press, 1996Buy now