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Visiting Research Fellows and Scholars

Mark Littler

Post-doctoral Research Scholar



Dr. Mark Littler is a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at Blackfriars Hall, where he is working on a project exploring the medium and long term impacts of faith schooling at the Las Casas Institute.


Prior to joining Blackfriars he held research appointments at the University of Manchester, Teesside University, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He completed his PhD, using cost-benefit models to explain support for religious terrorism, under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Heath at the University of Manchester Institute for Social Change. Prior to commencing his doctoral studies he also completed a Master's Degree in Applied Criminology at the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor's Degree in Law at University College London.


His principal research interests lie around the application of economic rational choice models to political behaviours, particularly violent extremism, though he is also interested in public perceptions of crime and the criminal justice system, faith, and public policy more broadly defined.

Luciano Maffi

Visiting Research Scholar 2014


Dr Luciano Maffi is a Research Fellow in the Department of the History of Economics at Brescia University in Italy.   He is also a Guest Lecturer at the Catholic University of Milan.

Dr Maffi is making a study of the history of the principle of subsidiarity, social support networks for the most needy and the “poor”, through the distribution of bread, the hospital system, accommodation for pilgrims, schooling and lending seed; particularly in Lombardy for the 18th century. The primary sources he will consider are the reports of parish priests in preparation for pastoral visits, as well as the archives of brotherhoods and charitable organisations.

John Liptay

VIsiting Research Scholar 2012-13


John Liptay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, completed his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Liptay’s area of specialization is Thomas Aquinas’ moral philosophy, and his academic interests include issues in moral philosophy and meta- and applied ethics.  He has published a number of papers on Aquinas’ theory of natural law and co-edited a volume of essays on the thought of Bernard Lonergan, The Importance of Insight (University of Toronto Press, 2007).  He was Visiting Research Scholar at Blackfriars for the Hilary and Trinity Terms of 2013.  The focus of his research while at Blackfriars was the interpretive dispute among contemporary Aquinas scholars regarding our knowledge of natural law, in particular, whether it presupposes a metaphysical account of human nature and/or the affirmation of God’s existence.

News & Events

21st Feb
Part Time Administrator

Blackfriars Hall wishes to appoint a part time Administrator for the Las Casas Institute, the Hall’s Institute for the study of social justice...

8th Nov
Dominicans launch 800th jubilee year

On Saturday 7th November, the Dominican Order launched its 800th jubilee with celebrations at Santa Sabina in Rome, and an online Twitter campaign.

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