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Durham University

Centre for Catholic Studies

Popery, Politics, and Prayer: British and Irish Catholicism

Fourth Biennial Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism (EMBIC) Conference

Conference Director: James Kelly (Durham University)

Conference Organising Committee: Brad Gregory (University of Notre Dame), John McCafferty (University College Dublin), Susannah Monta (University of Notre Dame)

In light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the CCS has had to take the decision to postpone this conference, which was originally scheduled for 14-16 July 2020. We have been adhering to the University's official guidance and, following meetings over the last couple of days, we have decided that it is best to make a decision regarding the conference at this time.

Naturally, nobody knows how the situation will continue, but even if things do begin to return to some sense of normality in the UK, it is likely that there will still be restrictions in place about gatherings of a certain size and, in particular, international travel. The EMBIC conferences are very deliberately international events and, rather than run one that is half-cooked with many people not able to attend, we would rather wait until, hopefully, we can all gather to discuss the topic.

The emphasis at this stage is very much on postponement. The situation allowing, the aim is to run the conference in summer 2022. This page will be updated as soon as any details are confirmed, but if you would like to receive updates by email, we would invite you to join one of the CCS's mailing lists here.

  • Marie-Louise Coolahan (National University of Ireland, Galway)
  • Brad Gregory (University of Notre Dame)
  • Peter Lake (Vanderbilt University)
  • Laurence Lux-Sterritt (Aix-Marseille University)
  • John McCafferty (University College Dublin)
  • Susannah Monta (University of Notre Dame)
  • Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin (University College Dublin)
  • Michael Questier (Vanderbilt University)

The fourth biennial Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism conference, jointly organised by Durham University and the University of Notre Dame, will concentrate on the relationship between politics and British and Irish Catholicism. 2020 marks the 450th anniversary of the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, through which Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I. From that point on, the questions surrounding British and Irish Catholicism became unescapably political, the line between the temporal and the spiritual even more blurred than previously. This conference will consider the relationships between politics and Catholicism in the widest possible framework, including through political debates and differences between English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Catholics, as well as the global Church; the politics of religious exile; spirituality and theology as polemic; State consideration of British and Irish Catholics in the political sphere; and Catholics as political players in the non-Catholic imagination. The timeframe being considered is broad, from c.1530 to 1800.

Draft programme