Bartolomé de las Casas OP was a sixteenth-century entrepreneur turned opponent of genocide and advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples in the “new world”. His organising, detailed empirical research and his preaching profoundly influenced debates within colonial Spain. Drawing on his insights, Francisco de Vitoria OP and the wider Salamanca School made striking contributions to the emergence of international law.
Launching our Institute in November 2008 Professor Conor Gearty of the London School of Economics described Las Casas as the “founder” of human rights. As such he stands in a long line of Dominicans and others who have devoted their research and wider lives to the rigorous study of ethics, institutions, just governance and social justice. Dominicans today have NGO status at the United Nations. They are also at the forefront of inter-faith conversation and pastoral engagement in divided communities in South Africa, Asia, North Africa, South America, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East.
The Las Casas Institute sets out to provide an open and influential centre for the development of rigorous scholarship, debate and new leadership in the fields of social justice and humanitarian rights. Interdisciplinary in nature, the Institute contributes to Blackfriars’ founding vision to be a centre of the social as well as the sacred sciences with particular concerns at the interface of its core interests, faith and the public sphere. Our home in one of the forty-five Permanent Private Halls and Colleges of the University of Oxford puts us at the heart of community of scholars and students with global interests and outlook.
We welcome your visit and hope you will return.
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To learn more about Georges Dominique Pire OP (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) click here.
To learn more about Bartolomé de las Casas OP click here.