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Centre for Catholic Studies

Centre for Catholic Studies

Founded in 2008, the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University represents a creative partnership between academy and church: a centre within the pluralist, public academy for critically constructive Catholic studies of the highest academic standing.

In the 2017-2018 academic year the Centre for Catholic Studies is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Explore this website and/or view the Centre for Catholic Studies prospectus to find out more about the Centre's work.

Research Programme Areas


Monks in Motion

Monks in Motion

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Dr James Kelly discusses the Monks in Motion research project which has investigated the role and influence of English and Welsh Benedictine monks during their exile in Europe from 1553-1800.

Reformation Rebels: The Surprising Histories of Benedictine Monks in Exile

Sixteenth and seventeenth century Benedictine monks refused abstinence, died in duels, went off to war and spread illegal Catholic doctrine, a new study has revealed.

The Monks in Motion project, led by Dr James Kelly of the Centre for Catholic Studies, has brought together records of English and Welsh Benedictine monks exiled in Europe in a first-of-its-kind searchable database and uncovered some of their remarkable histories.

The database is available for scholars and the public alike to access. Users are able to see biographical information for monks, including their family backgrounds and details of monastic life.

Further details

Job Vacancy: Assistant Professor in Catholic Theology/Catholic Studies

The Centre for Catholic Studies, in the Department of Religion, Durham University, invites applications for an Assistant Professor in Catholic Studies / Catholic Theology. We are open to candidates working in any area of Catholic Studies who can complement and/or build on our current strengths both within the Department and within the CCS. This is an excellent opportunity to join a truly world-leading Department of Theology and Religion. Closing date: 12 noon on 8 November 2017. Read more/apply here:

Registration and Call for Papers Open for Conference on Suffering, Diminishment and the Christian Life

Is love intrinsically linked to suffering? Are suffering, diminishment and loss on some fundamental level good? This is the direction in which recent theological emphases on vulnerability and kenosis might seem to point. In this conference we will seek to bring the question of the status and meaning of suffering in Christian life and Christian theology into focus, and to reflect on it from the perspectives of biblical, historical, pastoral, political and systematic theology.

Further details

Dr Anna Rowlands Announced as the St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice

We are delighted to announce Dr Anna Rowlands as the St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice. Dr Rowlands’ appointment in the University’s Department of Theology and Religion will take effect in September 2017.

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The Rev. Dr Gabrielle Thomas appointed to new project on ‘Ecclesial Learning about Women and the English Churches through Receptive Ecumenism’

The Centre for Catholic Studies within the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, in partnership with the Trust of the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) and the Caulfield Foundation, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr Gabrielle Thomas to a two year post-doctoral position in ‘Ecclesial Learning about Women and the English Churches through Receptive Ecumenism.’

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