|Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford
|College name||Blackfriars Hall|
|Latin name||Aula Fratrum Praedicatorum|
|Named after||The black cappa of the Dominican Friars|
|Established||1221 (re-established as religious house, 1921; as a hall, 1994)|
|Regent||Very Rev. Simon Gaine|
Location of Blackfriars Hall within central OxfordCoordinates:
|Blazon||Gyronny of sable and argent, a cross flory counterchanged.|
Blackfriars, Oxford is a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford. Blackfriars houses three distinct institutions: the Priory of the Holy Spirit, the religious house of the friars, whose current prior is John O'Connor; Blackfriars Studium, the centre of Theological studies of the English Province of the Dominican Friars (although it numbers members of other orders and lay people among its students and lecturers); and Blackfriars Hall, one of the constituent educational institutions of the University of Oxford. The name Blackfriars is commonly used to denote a house of the Dominican Friars in England.
Blackfriars Hall is not a college but a Permanent Private Hall, meaning that it is owned and governed by an outside institution (in this case, the English Province of the Order of Preachers) and not by its fellows as a college is. Located in St Giles', Blackfriars Hall is a centre for the study of Theology and Philosophy informed by the intellectual tradition of St Thomas Aquinas. It admits men and women of any faith for Oxford undergraduate degrees in Theology schools, and for PPE, and for a wide range of postgraduate degrees.
Despite the fact that many of the dates and figures of Oxford's medieval and early life are imprecise, Blackfriars' history is unusually well documented, largely as a result of the hall being part of an international fraternity of scholarship, which was able to monitor and document its fortunes, even during times of the hall's collapse.
The Dominicans arrived in Oxford on 15 August 1221, at the instruction of Saint Dominic himself, little more than a week after the friar's death. As such, the hall is heir to the oldest tradition of teaching in Oxford, a tradition that precedes both the aularian houses that would characterise the next century and the collegiate houses that would characterise the rest of the University's history.
Like all the monastic houses in Oxford, Blackfriars came into rapid and repeated conflict with the University authorities. With the Reformation, all monastic houses, including Blackfriars, were suppressed. The Dominicans did not return to Oxford for some 400 years, until 1921 when Blackfriars was refounded as a religious house, within 600 metres of the original site. The Dominican Studium at Blackfriars had a close relationship with the University, culminating in the establishment of Blackfriars as a permanent private hall in 1994.
Blackfriars Hall is the home of a number of other institutes,the Las Casas Institute on ethics, governance and social justice. Launched in November 2008, the Institute combines scholarship with major speakers and an extensive community engagement programme, and so contributes to the Hall's founding vision to be a centre of the social as well as the sacred sciences. Its founding Director (from October 2008 to January 2011) was Francis Davis. In March 2010 the Las Casas Institute hosted a conference - part of the UK's first ever social weeks - attended by 250 participants from over 20 countries. Keynote speakers included Professor Mary Jo Bane (Harvard), Professor Chris McCruddeon (Oxford), Professor Johan Verstraaten (Leuven) and Professor Margaret Archer (Lausanne). The Institute was specifically praised both by the University and its College Visitor in reviews undertaken during this period and the Vice Chancellor of the University was a keynote speaker at Institute events. The second Director of the Institute is Professor Michael Oborne, formerly Director of Futures at the OECD.
The International Young Leaders Network exists to identify and nurture young and emerging leaders aged 18 to 33 from the Christian community globally.
The Aquinas Institute was established in 2004 under the directorship of Fergus Kerr OP. It aims to foster study of St Thomas at Oxford through seminars, occasional conferences, summer schools, and programmes that will bring international research scholars to the university each year. It seeks to foster the study of St Thomas from three perspectives: theological, philosophical, and from the viewpoint of medieval studies. Members of the Institute include Revd Dr Vivian Boland OP (Director), Revd Dr Fergus Kerr OP (Founding Director), Prof. Steve Baldner (Visiting Fellow, Trinity term 2006), Dr William Carroll (Aquinas Fellow Hilary Terms), Revd Dr Simon Gaine OP, Revd Peter Hunter OP, Revd Dr Aidan Nichols OP and Revd Dominic Ryan OP. The Institute puts on a weekly seminar in Hilary term each year in which leading international scholars address a theme connected with the teaching of St Thomas. In Michaelmas term, the Director runs a weekly advanced reading class on Aquinas for University and Studium students. In Trinity term, the Director runs a seminar on Medieval authors before and after Aquinas. Patrons of the Institute include Professors John Haldane, Alasdair MacIntyre, Ralph McInerny (d.2010) and Eleonore Stump.
Blackfriars offers those preparing for the Catholic priesthood the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) granted by the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome. It is also possible for lay men and women to begin the Angelicum's S.T.B. programme by studying in the Blackfriars Studium and to conclude the programme with at least a year's full-time study at the Angelicum.
Notable former students And Staff 
- James Alison, British Theologian (clerical)
- Delia Gallagher, CNN Faith and Values Correspondent (lay)
- Francis Davis, Ministerial and Government Advisor and Author (lay)
- Brian Davies, Philosopher (clerical)
- Herbert McCabe, Theologian and Philosopher (clerical)
- Anthony Fisher, Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, Australia (clerical)
- Timothy Radcliffe, Past Master of the Order of Preachers (clerical)
Current Academics/Fellows 
- Rt Hon John Battle MP
- Fr Timothy Radcliffe, OP
- Finn, Fr Richard, OP
- Nichols, Fr Aidan, OP
- Kerr, Fr Fergus, OP
- MacMillan, Mr James
- McMahon, Rt Rev Malcolm, OP
- Saward, Fr John
- Scruton, Prof Roger