Project: Emily is working on a research project about the importance of narrative for the moral life. Through the lens of the narrative framework for moral theology proposed in Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, she is examining the human experience of a perceived absence of narrative through Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground. The project asks: What does it mean to act as a human being situated within a story? What does the human experience of losing one's narrative and one's sense of purpose (a "narrative lapse") imply for MacIntyre's framework of the moral life as the life of a character within a story? Can human beings act morally in the absence of a narrative? And can tradition (particularly theological tradition) give us a clearer sense of what it means to be situated within a narrative? Through Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the project will then turn to the possibility that a healthy community can alleviate the experience of a narrative lapse, and ask whether community is necessary for a coherent moral narrative.
Bio: Emily Lehman is a Ph.D. candidate in Theology, the Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. She is the recipient of the Fulbright-University of St Andrews Postgraduate Award in Interdisciplinary Studies for her Ph.D. project on narrativity and moral theology in Alasdair MacIntyre, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky. Her research interests lie at the intersection between philosophy, theology, and literature, with side interests in Catholic feminism, the philosophy of technology, and narrative psychology.