Vince Vitale

Vince VitaleDr Vince Vitale

Associate Tutor

BA Philosophy (Princeton), MPhil Theology, DPhil Philosophy (Oxford)

Vince is Tutor in Philosophy and Mission at Wycliffe Hall and is a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford.

Before coming to Oxford, Vince taught in the Philosophy and Religion Departments of his alma mater, Princeton University, where as an undergraduate he took an unexpected journey that led him to put his trust in God. While teaching at Princeton, Vince served as Faculty Director of the campus ministry Athletes in Action.

Vince’s primary research interests are in philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and ethical theory, areas that converge in his doctoral thesis on ‘the problem of evil’. He and Ravi Zacharias are co-authoring the book Why Suffering?, which is scheduled to be published in the autumn of 2014.

Currently, Vince’s research focuses on theodicy, ontological arguments, theories of atonement, and a number of issues in ethics and value theory (among them the metaphysics of harm and benefit and the non-identity problem). For his work on Kierkegaard, Inter-Varsity Press and Tyndale House have recently awarded him the title IVP Young Philosopher of Religion of the Year 2013.

Vince also has an interest in the intersection of faith and sport. He played varsity soccer at Princeton, was a "double Blue" at Oxford (competing for the University in football and boxing), and has traveled with Athletes in Action mission teams to four continents.

Classes Taught

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Epistemology
  • Christian Faith and Philosophy
  • Christian Witness and the Contemporary World
  • Apologetics


  • 2014. Why Suffering? Vince Vitale and Ravi Zacharias. Hachette.
  • 2014. “Review of Eleonore Stump’s Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering.” Mind.


Research Interests

  • The Existence of God
  • The Nature of God
  • Christian Doctrine (especially theories of atonement)
  • Ethics (especially non-identity problems and the metaphysics of harm and benefit)

Research in Progress:

  • Non-Identity Theodicy - I take cues form Leibnizian identity theory and literature in the ethics of procreation to develop and recommend an original theodicy.
  • The Metaphysics of Harm and Benefit - I develop accounts of harm and benefit which highlight their moral asymmetry. These accounts allow me to construct a taxonomy of theodicies and to raise objections to several traditional approaches to theodicy.
  • Personal Identity and the Problem of Evil - This is a monograph based on my doctoral research.
  • Unidentified Non-Identity Problems - I present and critique Derek Parfit’s two non-identity problems before offering Parfit an original third argument to his same conclusion. This newly identified non-identity problem represents a new challenge to rights- and harm-based approaches to ethics. I end with some remarks on how this challenge might be met.
  • Maximal Existence and the Existence of God: The Ontological Argument Reconsidered - I formulate and critically assess a new form of argument for the existence of God.
  • Horrendous Evils and Democratic Dialectic - I argue that several major approaches to political theory are structurally deficient for dealing with horrendous evils, and begin to construct a systematic political theory that takes our obligations not to cause horrors and to mitigate horrors when they do occur as its starting point.
  • Sacred Value and the Ethics of Abortion - I proffer sacred value as a framing category for debates over abortion.
  • Is Kierkegaard Correct That There is a Teleological Suspension of the Ethical? - I challenge traditional approaches to this question by recommending a new interpretation of Kierkegaardian suspension. This essay received first prize in the Inter-Varsity Press and Tyndale House competition for IVP Young Philosopher of Religion 2013.

Further links:

RZIM Resources 

OCCA website – Vince's profile 

Follow Vince on Twitter