Dr Stuart Jesson

Senior Lecturer: Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

E: s.jesson@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 876 861

Dr Stuart Jesson

I graduated with a degree in Literature and Theology from the University of Hull in 2000. From 2003-5 I studied Philosophy of Religion part-time at the University of Nottingham, whilst continuing to work in the charity sector for a number of homelessness charities. I stayed at Nottingham to study for a PhD, which examined the nature and value of forgiveness (what does it mean to ‘forgive’, and is forgiveness a good thing in any case?). I took up a position as Lecturer at York St John in 2012, where I teach philosophy of religion, ethics, and some theology.

I maintain an interest in the way that forgiveness is discussed within theological and philosophical discourses. However, my main focus at present is the unusual work of the French mystic/philosopher Simone Weil: her account of attention, suffering, and the possibility of an all-embracing love of the world.


Further Information



I teach core modules in the BA Hons in Religion , Philosophy and Ethics, which aim to give students a good grounding in the interaction between western philosophy and religious issues.

Philosophy and Religion
From Descartes to Marx: Philosophers and Religion

I have also developed a number of more specialised undergraduate modules in which students have an opportunity to explore particular issues or questions in depth:

Film, Ethics and Theology
Engaging with Philosophical Texts (currently focused on Friedrich Nietzsche) Evolution, Theology and Ethics
Forgiveness and Reconciliation




I am currently writing a book for the 'Reframing Continental Philosophy of Religion' series at Rowman & Littlefield which will put forward a new constructive critique of Simone Weil’s religious metaphysics and moral philosophy. My next research project will build on this critique of Weil’s understanding of attention, and explore the significance of the notion of ‘joint attention’ for the phenomenology of ethical experience.




Chapters in Books:

‘Compassion, Consolation, and the Sharing of Attention’ in Simone Weil and Continental Philosophy (Reframing Continental Philosophy of Religion), ed. Rebecca Rozelle-Stone (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

‘Simone Weil’ in Religion and European Philosophy: Key Thinkers from Kant to the Present, ed. Philip Goodchild and Hollis Phelps (Durham, U.K.: Acumen, 2016).

‘Traces of Resurrection: The Pattern of Simone Weil’s Mysticism’ in Death, Dying and Mysticism, ed. Christopher Moreman and Thomas Cattoi (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015).


"‘The Question in Each and Every Thing": Nietzsche and Weil on Affirmation’, under review at International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

‘On the Ambiguity of Forgiveness’, Philosophy and Theology, 26: 1, 131 – 150

‘Simone Weil: Suffering, Attention and Compassionate thought’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 27. 2, 27: 2, 185 – 201.


‘Martha C. Nussbaum, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice’ in Studies in Christian Ethics, 30: 3 (2017), pp. 377-380.

‘Robert Chenavier: Simone Weil: Attention to the Real - Translated by Bernard E. Doering’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 74. 3 (2013): 363-366

‘Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theology: Reason, Meaning and Experience - Edited by Kevin Vanhoozer and Martin Warner’, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 11. 1 (2009): 105-107

‘The Erotic Phenomenon – By Jean-Luc Marion, and Counter-Experiences: Reading Jean-Luc Marion – Edited by Kevin Hart’, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 10. 1 (2008): 114-118.

‘Levinas and Theology - By Michael Purcell’, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 9. 2 (2007): 235-237.


Other Activities


I am a member of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, as well as York’s ecumenical Justice and Peace group, which meets at St Bede’s Pastoral Centre on Blossom street.

I am also a big music fan, and can sometimes be found browsing the excellent jazz section at ‘Rebound’, or nervously performing at one of York’s many open-mic nights.



Cookie Settings