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Ashley Moyse

McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr Moyse holds a PhD in theology from the University of Newcastle, Australia. In addition to his theological training, his academic background also includes a postgraduate research degree in the applied sciences as well as advanced study in bioethics and health policy. He is an Associate Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University (USA), a member of the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, University of Divinity (AUS), and an honorary research associate at Trinity College, University of Divinity (AUS). Before coming to Oxford, Dr Moyse was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Theology and Science at Regent College, Vancouver, as well as Research Associate and Instructor of Christian Ethics for Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia.


Emerging from Dr Moyse's education and scholarly pursuits is an interest in Christian ethics, with a particular expertise in bioethics and medical humanities. Yet he has emerging interests at the intersections of moral and political theology.

At present Dr Moyse's research agenda attends to constructive and probing reflections on the shape and form of the good in the present—for the good of the world caught up and malformed by the ontology of technology and the disciplining of the market. Put differently, his work in and for the Centre will continue to study the Christian moral tradition, which cultivates resources and grounds embodied practices for the mending of our late modern constructed and commoditized world. Such work will labour to clarify an alternate order of being and becoming such that we might not only learn to see but also to live for the world rightly.

Dr Moyse has recently finished his second monograph. The book explicates the ontology of technology as a late modern crisis that forms us by its own image, and resolves to examine a theological response that might ready us to live not only for persons but also in the technological society. Put differently, the project aims to articulate an alternate ontology that is able to dialectically accept and protest the advance and advantage of human creativity while attending to the limits of progress through a robust Christian humanism. 

He is beginning to focus on a third monograph that will build upon his recent research on despair:

Jean Améry (Hanns Chaim Mayer) was an Austrian-born essayist, whose reflections on ageing outline the cost that advanced age brings to the human body, mind, and spirit. He suggested the elderly come to rest, and are forced, by the depredations of ageing, to make do without. Similarly, scholars in palliative care and medical research (Linda Ganzini et al., Marianne Dees et al., and Timothy Quill, for example) have observed that persons confronting unrelenting prognoses and irremediable diagnoses are also forced, by the devastations of disease and dysfunction, to make do without. Finally, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have observed that a subsection of the US population have been forced to make due without as the progress of modern economic schema and globalization render life a fleeting memory and fodder for anguish rather than orienting human life towards hope—toward human flourishing. That is to say, persons, whether aged, dying, or economically distressed are discovering themselves to be in a world they no longer understand and without the capacities to engage with it. Consequently, they become increasingly dependent upon others, whether individuals or institutions, and such dependence is viewed negatively, often generating behaviours that anticipate suicide or other, often tragic, outcomes. Despair, accordingly, enters as an unwanted companion and, without the virtues to buffer such despair, often impedes or greatly curtails or even completely inhibits human flourishing.

This project will aim to illuminate the ways in which a modern anthropology, propagating the solitary and self-sufficient individual, has contributed to the mechanics of despair illumined briefly above, which torment those persons who are confronting the challenges of finitude, death, and vocation. That is, the project will aim to illuminate the ways such persons have been schooled to understand themselves not only in crude competition with others but also as isolated and alone in the world. Becoming dependent upon others, therefore, is antithetical to the ideal of being a modern anthropology champions and engenders. By way of response, the project will introduce a schooling again, a schooling differently, which might transfigure the way persons see not only themselves (in community) but also their vocation, conditioned (constrained) toward hope and the patience for human flourishing. Such schooling, grounded in Christian humanism and the virtues, will introduce the transformative practice of virtue formation, or character education, that can resource the strength for persons to confront the catastrophes and calamities that arise in our late modern age and can orient persons toward the ways of human flourishing.




Edited Volumes

Book Series Advisor/Editor

Dispatches: Turning Points in Theology and Global Crises, edited with Scott A Kirkland (Fortress Press book series)


Contact Details

Mo. +44 (0) 7904 153 856