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Afonso Seixas-Nunes, SJ

25 Years a Jesuit
Professor of Public International Law and Laws of Armed Conflict, Saint Louis University School of Law

Father Afonso Seixas-Nunes, SJ, celebrates a quarter century in the Society of Jesus. He currently teaches international law as a professor at Saint Louis University’s Law School.

Father Seixas-Nunes was born in Porto, Portugal, in 1973. He joined the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus in 1998 after earning a law degree from the Catholic University of Portugal (Porto). He was ordained a priest in 2010.

As part of his formative Jesuit studies, Fr. Seixas-Nunes pursued a degree in philosophy from Porto and received the Prize Pe Vitorio de Sousa Alves. He also holds a degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

After his theological studies, Fr. Seixas-Nunes studied international law and human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, hoping to apply Ignatian Spirituality toward a cause that could directly impact those on the margins of society. He earned his master’s in international law and human rights a few years later.

In early 2019, Fr. Seixas-Nunes completed his doctoral thesis in International Humanitarian Law at the School of Law of the University of Essex, entitled The Legitimacy and Accountability for the Deployment of Autonomous Weapon System under International Humanitarian Law. It was published by the Cambridge University Press in 2022.

Most of Fr. Seixas-Nunes’ ministry involves teaching international humanitarian law, adding his Ignatian perspective to global issues.

Prior to joining the Saint Louis University School of Law, he taught law in European and British universities.

In September 2018, Fr. Seixas-Nunes became a member of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, directed by Professor Dapo Akande at the Blavatnik School of Government. In August 2021, Afonso joined the Saint Louis University Law School as a permanent faculty member, teaching Public International Law, and Laws of Armed Conflict. In addition to his professorship at Saint Louis University, Fr. Seixas-Nunes currently serves as an invited professor at the Catholic University of Portugal Law School, his alma mater.

Father Seixas-Nunes’ Reflection on 25 Years in the Society of Jesus

As a Jesuit, sometimes I look at all my degrees, the years sitting at a desk, and examine my life. And I ask: so what? What do my academic and personal accomplishments make of me? Maybe some expect a highly intellectual man given all this, but admittedly I am far from it.

To be honest, being far from my home province in Portugal for the last 16 years has had its moments of loneliness. Books have become my best (and sometimes, worst) friends. However, since the moment the Portuguese Provincial asked me to return to the field of International Law, my only concern has been to serve the Catholic Church in the best way possible. The world, with all its emerging technologies, asks us important questions about what it means to be human. The Church has to be able to give a capable answer; I share in this responsibility. Because of this, I find myself called to shape my life into a continuous offertory act. This is not easy, but it is simple, especially when one considers that living in this way is doing the same work that Jesus did.