Upcoming events

Recent events

Book launch for Love’s Forgiveness by Professor John Lippitt, IES Director

Thursday 19 November, 8pm (via Zoom)

The Institute for Ethics & Society is delighted to host an online book launch for Love’s Forgiveness: Kierkegaard, Resentment, Humility, and Hope (OUP) by IES Director, Professor John Lippitt.

Published by Oxford University Press, Love’s Forgiveness explores key questions raised by recent philosophers of forgiveness, and connects their discussions with New Testament passages on forgiveness and reflections from the Christian tradition, especially in the writings of Kierkegaard. The book draws on philosophy, theology, memoirs, and fiction to argue for a view of forgiveness as a 'work of love', and shows the connections between forgiveness and such qualities as humility and hope.

John Lippitt is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics & Society at The University of Notre Dame Australia. His research for Love's Forgiveness was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (2018–2020).

Christopher Cordner, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and author of Ethical Encounter: the Depth of Moral Meaning, will give a response to the book on the night.

C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University, and currently directing a three-year US$2 million Templeton Religion Trust grant on ‘Accountability as a Virtue’, will also offer brief comments via video on the book.

The launch will conclude with an interactive Q&A time.

To register and receive the Zoom meeting link, please email

2020 Religion and Global Ethics Annual Lecture

Wednesday 11 November, 5pm (via Zoom)

The release of Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis in 2015 was hailed as a major milestone for ecology and environmental action across the world: the encyclical offers a framework for Catholics to both understand the contemporary climate crisis and take action. With a new social encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, recently released, we return to the themes of Laudato Si’ and examine how the new encyclical deepens Catholic Social Teaching on our environment. In this timely and interactive event, Dr Celia Deane-Drummond (Laudato Si’ Institute, Oxford) and Fr. Peter Smith (Sydney Catholic Archdiocese), discuss the successes, challenges, and possibilities of Catholic responses to the climate crisis.

2020 Bioethics and Healthcare Ethics Annual Lecture

Thursday 29 October, 12pm (via Zoom)

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a myriad of ethical issues. One of the most troubling has been, at least in some jurisdictions, the way vulnerable persons such as the elderly in care homes and persons with disabilities have been de-prioritized in societal responses to COVID as well as in resource allocation policy proposals. In this talk, Dr Scott Kim will review these events and policies and reflect on what lessons bioethics might draw from them.

Scott Kim is a Senior Investigator in the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, USA. Prior to joining NIH, he was a Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr Kim received his MD from Harvard and PhD in Moral Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and trained in adult psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the author of Evaluation of Capacity to Consent to Treatment and Research (Oxford, 2010). More information on Dr Kim can be found at

Margaret Somerville will give a response to Dr Kim’s lecture. Margo Somerville is a Professor of Bioethics in the Sydney School of Medicine at The University of Notre Dame Australia and an affiliate of the Institute for Ethics and Society.

2020 Notre Dame School of Virtue and Character

The Institute for Ethics & Society is delighted to host the 2020 Notre Dame School of Virtue & Character. Held over two weeks (29 September – 8 October), the NDSVC allows a small group of selected participants to deeply engage with new research on the topic of cultivating good character.

NDSVC features six keynote sessions, each running for 1.5 hours. The sessions are structured around a pre-read paper, and provide participants with the opportunity to engage directly with the speakers in a rigorous discussion of their work.

The keynote speakers are: C. Stephen Evans (Baylor University), Heather Battaly (University of Connecticut), Christian B. Miller (Wake Forest University), Michael Lamb (Wake Forest University), Anne Snyder (Comment Magazine), and John Lippitt (IES).

We welcome applications for participation via email. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 NDSVC keynote speakers will appear via Zoom.

The 2020 NDSVC will focus on two topics: new accounts of overlooked virtues and vices, and practical questions related to how institutions can be designed to foster virtue.

For details on how to apply, please email Tim Smartt ( or Dr Annette Pierdziwol ( Applications are open now and will close on 7 September 2020. Places are limited. Selected participants will be provided with the draft papers two weeks prior to the conference.

An initiative of the Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education program within the Institute for Ethics & Society

Read about the 2020 Notre Dame School of Virtue & Character.

Professor William T. Cavanaugh (DePaul University) at Notre Dame Australia

The Institute for Ethics & Society is delighted and honoured to announce that we will be hosting Professor William T. Cavanaugh (DePaul University) as a Visiting Professor to the University in November 2019!

Professor Cavanaugh is one the world’s leading researchers working at the intersection of ethics, politics, and the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition. His work has influenced an entire generation of scholars interested in using the resources of the Catholic tradition to develop fresh alternatives to moral and political reflection than those provided by secularism.

He is currently Professor of Catholic Studies and the Director of the Centre for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University in Chicago. He has also held substantial research fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.

A prolific researcher, Professor Cavanaugh is the author of The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2009), Torture and the Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (Blackwell, 1998), Theopolitical Imagination (T&T Clark, 2003), Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Eerdmans, 2008), Field Hospital: The Church's Engagement With a Wounded World (Eerdmans, 2016), and Migrations of the Holy (Eerdmans, 2011). He is the co-editor of three volumes, including The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Blackwell, 2003), and co-editor of the journal Modern Theology. His books have been published in 12 languages.

During his time at the IES, Professor Cavanaugh will take part in a number of research, ethics education, and public engagement activities on both Notre Dame Australia's Broadway and Fremantle campuses.

The IES is committed to fostering greater ethical awareness in professional and social life, and we’re thrilled and humbled that Professor Cavanaugh will be sharing his expertise with the NDA community in November.

Stay tuned for more details!

For inquiries related to Professor Cavanaugh’s visit, please contact Tim Smartt (

2019 IES Research Seminar

2019 IES Research Seminar

The Institute for Ethics & Society Research Seminar exists to foster rigorous, creative and collaborative research on our three research focus areas: (i) Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education, (ii) Bioethics & Healthcare Ethics, and (iii) Religion & Global Ethics.

Professor Christian B. Miller (Wake Forest University) at Notre Dame Australia

The Institute for Ethics & Society is delighted to announce one of its international visiting scholars for 2019!

Professor Christian B. Miller, the A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, will be visiting the Institute from 3-7 June 2019. During his visit, Professor Miller will deliver the 2019 Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education Annual Lecture and instruct a 5-day masterclass on philosophy of character.

Professor Miller’s research focuses on virtue ethics, empirically informed moral psychology, and the philosophy of religion. His prolific research output in recent years has focused on developing connections between findings in empirical psychology and the philosophical study of character and moral development.

Professor Miller is the author of The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (OUP, 2017), Character and Moral Psychology (OUP, 2014), and Moral Character: An Empirical Theory (OUP, 2013). He is the co-editor of Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (OUP, 2015), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character (MIT Press, 2017), and Integrity, Honesty, and Truth-Seeking (OUP, forthcoming). His books have been reviewed in major philosophy journals, such as Ethics, Mind, and Analysis, as well as in popular media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, and Christianity Today.

His commentary and public philosophy has appeared in Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Slate, Salon, Newsweek, NPR, The Dallas Morning News, Aeon, Christianity Today, The Veritas Forum, Psychology Today, Nautilus Magazine, and many other venues.

Professor Miller’s research has been generously support by a number of research grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton Religion Trust. Most recently he was the Principal Investigator of the AU$5.1M “The Character Project: New Frontiers in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology,” the Principal Investigator of the AU$1.3M “The Developing Character Project,” and the Philosophy Director and Co-Investigator of the AU$5.5M “The Beacon Project: Founding a Field of the Morally Exceptional.”

We are thrilled that Professor Miller will be visiting us, and we hope that you might be able to participate in some of the research activities associated with this visit.

Professor Miller’s visit is an initiative of the Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education program within the IES.

2019 Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education Annual Lecture

Becoming Virtuous: Masterclass in Philosophy of Character

Annual Highlights


Happy Christmas - from all at the IES.  Here are our IES 2020 highlights.


Happy Christmas - from all at the IES.  Here are our IES 2019 highlights.

Happy Christmas - IES 2019 Highlights