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Virtues and Vices

What is virtuous and what is a vice? Can objectively good and evil decisions exist when we do not know the long-term consequences of our actions? What, in that case, constitutes a good or evil person? What is the origin of morality? Every era and culture have had their respective answers to these eternal questions. In our own Protestant tradition, the human body and its desires have been considered inherently bad. Why is pride the worst of all sins according to Christian ethics?

During the seminar that was held on 18 April at Engelsbergs Ironworks, we explored how conceptions of virtues and vices have changed throughout history and across cultures, from ancient times to today.


Katarina Barrling

Associate Professor of Political Science, Uppsala University

David Butterfield

PhD, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge

Pär Cassel

Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan

Marie Kawthar Daouda

PhD Literature, Author and lecturer, University of Oxford

Torbjörn Elensky


Jessica Frazier

Lecturer in the Study of Religion, University of Oxford and Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Peter Haldén

Reader in War Studies, Swedish Defence University

Thomas Idergard

Jesuit Priest, Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm, Columnist

Ritchie Robertson

Emeritus Schwarz-Taylor Professor of German Language and Literature, University of Oxford

Hans Ruin

Professor of Philosophy, Södertörn University

Malise Ruthven

Independent Writer and Researcher, PhD Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge

Hanno Sauer

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Utrecht University

Mateusz Stróżyński

Associate Professor, Institute of Classical Philology, Adam Mickiewicz University

Fredrik Svenaeus

Professor of Philosophy, Södertörn University

Sten Widmalm

Professor of Political Science at the Department of Government, Uppsala University