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Durham University News

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Leading Catholic theologian receives honorary degree from Durham University

(27 June 2011)

Professor Nicholas Lash (centre)

An eminent Catholic theologian has been awarded an honorary degree by Durham University in recognition of his work.

Professor Nicholas Lash is regarded as one of the most influential Roman Catholic philosophical theologians of our time.

Professor Lash spent six years in the Army before training for the priesthood. After resigning from the priesthood in 1976, by which point he was already recognised as an influential voice in Roman Catholic theology, he pursued an academic career.

He was elected to the Norris-Hulse Chair of Divinity in 1978, becoming the first Catholic to occupy a chair of theology at either Cambridge or Oxford since the Reformation. Professor Lash is now an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall at Cambridge.

His wide ranging theological interests have resulted in some highly influential publications and he has supervised many doctoral students who are now established theologians.

He received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Durham University Chancellor Bill Bryson in a ceremony at Durham Cathedral.

A colloquium marking the honour bestowed on Professor Lash took place at St John's College, Durham University, from 11am to 6.30pm on Thursday, June 30, and culminated in a celebratory dinner that evening in St Chad's College.

Professor Lash, who is married to Janet and has a son, Dominic, said: "Theological study in Great Britain is among the best in the world and Durham is a leading centre for the study of Catholic life and thought.

"I am delighted to have been awarded this honour in recognition of my work and I am very happy to be able to share this moment with my family and fellow theologians."

Professor Paul D. Murray, Director of the Durham Centre for Catholic Studies, said: "As one of the world's top universities for teaching and research in Theology and Religion which is pioneering an explicit space for Catholic theology and Catholic studies in the secular, public academy we are delighted to present Professor Lash with his honorary degree.

"It is fully-deserved and recognises his magnificent contribution to the field of contemporary Catholic theology in particular and philosophical theology more generally."

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