Joel joined CISRUL in January 2017 as a PhD student based in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy.  He was granted an MTh in Theological Ethics from the University of Aberdeen in 2016.  He also holds a BSc in Mathematics, a BA in Philosophy, and an MLIS from the University of Washington in Seattle.  Joel’s research interest is in the application of modern Aristotelian philosophy and Thomistic theology to contemporary politics. His MTh dissertation examined the differing interpretations of natural law in the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Jean Porter, showing how these interpretations arise from and in some way determine contrasting narratives of how Aquinas drew upon the work of his predecessors and contemporaries.

Joel’s PhD project focuses on the viability of a robust conception of human rights within Aristotelian and Thomistic frameworks.  His dissertation will examine resistance to human rights from figures such as MacIntyre as well as attempts to ground rights claims in Aristotelian language by theorists such as Porter and Martha Nussbaum.  Through engagement with these theorists he hopes to shed light on some of the tensions in modern human rights discourse and suggests ways to improve how the language of human rights is deployed.


MTh Theological Ethics, University of Aberdeen 2016.

MLIS, University of Washington, Seattle.

BSc Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle.

BA Philosophy, University of Washington, Seattle.