University of Notre Dame
Cosponsored by The Nicholson Center for British Studies
Whether Shakespeare was Catholic has long been a point of speculation. Recent research into the life of Oxford philosopher and double agent William Sterrell has revealed a neglected group of Catholics connected to Shakespeare at and around the courts of Queen Elizabeth and King James. The potential influence of these crypto-Catholics practicing their faith in animo while outwardly complying with the legally enforced state religion offers a new understanding of Shakespeare's works and audience.
John Finnis, F.B.A., is the Biolchini Family Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and Professor Emeritus of Law and Legal Philosophy at Oxford University. A Rhodes Scholar from South Australia, he earned his doctorate at Oxford and has been a fellow of University College, Oxford, since 1966. He is the author of Natural Law and Natural Rights, Fundamentals of Ethics, Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision and Truth, and Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Theory. Collected Essays of John Finnis was published in five volumes by Oxford University Press in 2011. In the past ten years he has published six articles on Elizabethan history and literature, including two long articles in the Times Literary Supplement.