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Richard Finn OP

Richard Finn OP is a fellow of Blackfriars Hall and a member of the faculties of Theology and Classics. The author of Almsgiving in the Late Roman Empire (Oxford 2006) and Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge, 2009), he was recently one of two curators of the virtual exhibition, ‘A Pipeline from Heaven: 800 Years of Dominican Books’ (, and is currently beginning research on the history of the English Dominicans. As part of this project he will be examining the friars’ role in forming cooperatives on Grenada, and in the development of distributism. He has served as Novice Master for the English Dominicans, and he is also a governor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He had been a member of the Las Casas Advisory Board for a number of years before taking on the role of Director of the Institute.

Las Casas Institute

Advisory Board

Simon Gaine OP

Simon Francis Gaine OP  is the Regent (Head of House) of Blackfriars Hall and a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, for which he has taught mediaeval theology, including the theology of Aquinas.  He studied theology at Oxford before joining the Dominican Order, and completed his doctorate in modern Catholic theology and is the author of Will There Be Free Will in Heaven? (2003).  He is currently on the Dominican Provincial Council.

Las Casas Institute

Michael Oborne

Michael Oborne is a Fellow at Blackfriars Hall and was Director of the Las Casas Institute from 2011 - 2013.  Until March 2011 he was the OECD's Director of Multi-Disciplinary Issues, including the supervision of the OECD International Futures Programme and the Global Science Forum. He was Deputy Director of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry from 1993 where he was responsible for OECD work on science policy, information technologies, the Global Science Forum and multidisciplinary work on biotechnology. Previously, as Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division he developed the OECD Megascience Forum work and new working groups in technology policy and biotechnology. Between 1986 and 1989, he was a member of the Cabinet of the Secretary-General and helped direct the multidisciplinary project on structural adjustment in the OECD area. From 1980 to 1986, he worked as a senior researcher in the Development Centre, specializing in the Pacific region and China. Prior to coming to OECD, Dr Oborne taught in the United States and held professorships in the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique in Paris (1975- 1979) and the University of Paris IX. He also held, in 1980, the post of Senior Fulbright Professor in the University of Milan. Dr Oborne, who is of American nationality, was educated at the University of California at Berkeley (BA, Ma, PhD), Cambridge University (Ford Foundation Fellow), the University of Paris Sorbonne, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes (DEA), and the Ecole Normale Supérieure.

Las Casas Institute

Timothy Radcliffe OP

Ordained in 1971, Fr Timothy is a well-known preacher and speaker, and author of  several books including  What is the point of being a Christian?  He served as Master of the Dominican Order from 1992 until 2001 and is now resident at the Dominican Priory at Blackfriars, Oxford.  Fr Timothy was Director of the Las Casas Institute from Easter 2014-Easter 2016; and he is an Honorary Doctor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and the Consulter for the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace.

Las Casas Institute

John Battle

John Battle is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall and was a member of parliament. From 1999-2001 he was Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and from 1997 to 1999 Minister for Science, Energy and Technology. From 2001 to 2007 he was the UK Prime Minister's Envoy to the Faith Communities. Battle has published in New Blackfriars, Political Theology and other journals and is a regular contributor to a range of periodicals and newspapers. Recent lectures include to the OECD, at the European Commission and at Oxford University. Before entering parliament Battle was a leading anti-poverty campaigner and Director of Church Action on Poverty. He is currently chair of Leeds Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission and chair of newly formed "Leeds Citizens" and active in the local community anti poverty campaigns in Leeds.

Las Casas Institute

Fernando Cervantes

Fernando Cervantes is a lay Dominican historian of early modern Europe specialising in the intellectual and religious history of early modern Spain and Spanish America. Between 2005 and 2008 he was principal investigator of a major Leverhulme Research Project entitled The Celestial and the Fallen: Angels and Demons in the Hispanic World. With Dr Andrew Redden of Queen's University, Belfast, he is currently completing work on the two major outputs of the project: a co-authored monograph and a co-edited collection of essays entitled Angels, Demons and the New World, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. Longer term projects include a study of the literary imagination of early modern Europe that seeks to place the works of Montaigne, Cervantes and Shakespeare in the wider context of early modern humanism, the relations between Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and the epistemological crisis of the early seventeenth century. Dr Cervantes was the John Coffin Memorial Lecturer in the History of Ideas at the University of London in 2005 and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, and the Liguria Study Centre for the Arts and the Humanities, Bogliasco, Italy. In the Spring quarter of 2009 he held the Tipton Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Las Casas Institute

Bishop William Kenny CP

Bishop William Kenney CP is auxilliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and was formerly General Secretary of the Scandinavian Bishops' Conference, and a current member of the Conference of Catholic Bishops' for Europe. A co-founder of the Gothenburg Process on Small Arms he was also formerly a President of Caritas Europa and is a current member of both the Holy Land Co-ordination and the legal commission of Caritas International. Bishop Kenney has taught in universities in Sweden and lectures widely. He is member of the Advisory Committee of the Las Casas Institute.

Las Casas Institute

Tim Sheehy

Tim Sheehy is an independent governance consultant focusing on democratisation, including the functioning of electoral management bodies. He is currently convener of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Junior Election Professionals (JEP) initiative. Mr. Sheehy has been involved in running various regional organisations (including SADCC). In the early 1990’s he established and managed European Commission's coordination offices for the EU Programme for the Victims of Apartheid, successively in Namibia and then in South Africa.  Following that, set up a Secretariat on behalf of the EU in Amman, Jordan, to support regional economic cooperation with the context of the Middle East Peace Process. In recent years, he has undertaken many assignments for the Commonwealth Secretariat, DFID, the UN, and the EU. Tim Sheehy, who has been an adviser to the EU on Zimbabwe for a number of years, is a Principal at The Policy Practice.

Las Casas Institute

Carmody Grey

Carmody Grey has degrees in theology from Trinity College Oxford, King's College Cambridge and the University of Nottingham. She is currently completing doctoral studies in theology at the University of Bristol, focusing on a theological account of life and nature. Before starting her doctorate she was Head of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Bedales School in Hampshire, as well as pursuing her ongoing interest in ecology and the life sciences through a postgraduate degree from Edinburgh. She is involved in theological formation of priests, deacons and catechists in the Diocese of Clifton, and is a columnist for The Tablet.

Las Casas Institute

David Harper

David Harper is Bursar of Blackfriars Hall. Before joining Blackfriars he was the Bursar at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. Prior to that he was the Finance and HR manager for the University of Oxford’s Department of Paediatrics. He is also an accredited Local Preacher in the Methodist Church.

Las Casas Institute

Research Leaders

Prof. John Loughlin

Professor John Loughlin was appointed a Research Fellow of Blackfriars Hall and member of the Las Casas Institute in October 2015. He is currently working on a project exploring the concept of 'human dignity' from different disciplinary perspectives and is organising a series of public seminars on this theme to be held at the LCI during the academic year 2016-17.

He is an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, where he directed the Von Hügel Institute until his retirement there in September 2015. He was also a Senior Fellow of the Department of Politics and International Studies of the University of Cambridge. He is Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University where he held the Chair of Politics (1994-2010). He is a Fellow of the UK's Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS), a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (RHistS), of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA – until 2015) and of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2014 he was appointed a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Las Casas Institute

Pia Jolliffe

Pia Maria Jolliffe holds a DPhil in International Development from Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, a DESS in Asian Studies from the University of Geneva and a Master’s in Japanese Studies from the University of Vienna. She was appointed a Research Fellow of Blackfriars Hall and member of the Las Casas Institute in February 2016. She is also a Council Member of the UK Development Studies Association.

Her research focuses on migration, education and the life course. Pia has long term ethnographic research experience with the Karen people from Thailand and Myanmar.


Pia´s current major projects:

  • Co-editing with Thomas Bruce (SOAS) a book entitled Southeast Asian Schools in Modern History: Education, Manipulation, and Contest (to be published with Routledge)
  • Co-ordinating with Prof Kathleen Cummings (Cushwa Center for American Catholicism), Prof Deidre Raftery (University College Dublin) and Maria Williams (UCL Institute of Education) a symposium entitled “A Pedagogy of Peace: They theory and practice of Catholic Teaching Sisters in educating migrants”



Associate Members

Thana Campos

Thana joined the Las Casas Institute in 2014. She holds a DPhil in law (Jurisprudence) from the University of Oxford. Before coming to Oxford, Thana completed a MPhil in International Law at the University of Sao Paulo, where she has also lectured Public International Law. Her book, Transnational Corporations and Human Rights – Pharmaceutical Corporations as a Case Study (in Portuguese, Ed. Forum, 2012) discusses what kind of moral responsibilities pharmaceutical firms have in relation to the human right to health. The book focuses on the debates within the United Nations, particularly within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where she carried out research work in 2008. Thana is also the co-chair of the ASAP-Brazil (the Brazilian chapter of the international association Academics Stand Against Poverty - ASAP that aims to help academics enhance their impact on poverty); she is also the Right to Health Research Group coordinator at ASAP-Brazil.

Las Casas Institute


James Bergida

James Bergida is Events and Communications Officer at the Las Casas Institute. He is pursuing a DPhil in Theology from the University of Oxford; his research focuses on religious perspectives on finance and alternative banking systems. He holds an MPhil in Theology from the University of Oxford and a BA in Philosophy (summa cum laude) from Christendom College. James is a member of the Academy of Management and the Society for Business Ethics.

Las Casas Institute