10th Annual Conference: Integrating Research on Character and Virtues

Integrating Research on Character and Virtues: 10 Years of Impact

8th – 10th September 2022, Oriel College, Oxford

The tenth annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham.

The ten years since the Jubilee Centre was founded have witnessed an enormous surge of interest in character-and-virtue research across a number of different academic disciplines, with inroads also made into various fields of practice. This renewed interest has been stimulated by generous grants from the John Templeton and Kern Family Foundations. Psychologists talk about a ‘new science of virtue’; philosophers refer to a ‘retrieval’ of Aristotelianism, Confucianism or even Thomism; educationists sense a rejuvenation or deepening of pedagogical ideas about ‘character education’; and practitioners celebrate a focus on ‘professional discernment and judgement’ instead of uncritical obedience to rules and codes. However, are these labels describing the same development from different perspectives or a series of independent developments? In other words: is there anything singular and unified in the new discourses about character and virtues or are different disciplines simply addressing different issues?

In addition to celebrating the first decade of work in the Jubilee Centre and taking stock of the impact that it has had, the main aim of this conference is to explore the merits and demerits of cross-disciplinarity in the character-and-virtue research field(s). Among the big questions that emerge here are: How amenable are the different research traditions of philosophy and social science to crossover work? How easy is it to integrate the foci on what a virtue ‘is’ (philosophy) and how it is ‘experienced’ (psychology) with how it can be ‘cultivated in educational settings’ (education)? Have academics and practitioners been able to communicate effectively, and how can such communication be enhanced?

The aim of the 2022 Jubilee Centre anniversary conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore those questions and many more. Can theorists from philosophy, education, sociology, theology, history and psychology cross the traditional barbed wire between the disciplines and learn from each other’s work? How can insights from theory and practice be integrated?

We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of the conference. While our focus this time is on issues having to do with the methodological and substantive pros and cons of interdisciplinary research on character and virtues, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore any more specific character-related issues from an educational, social scientific, philosophical, religious or practice-oriented perspective. There will be parallel sessions devoted to various discrete topics in the area of character, virtue and character education.

The conference programme for the 10th Annual Conference is now available below:

Abstracts and papers presented at the conference can be found here.

Download the Integrating Research on Character and Virtues: 10 Years of Impact Programme