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Centre for Catholic Studies

History of Catholicism

The History of Catholicism area is a fast growing research cluster in the CCS. It sees the CCS organize, in partnership with the University of Notre Dame, a bi-annual conference on Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism. International and interdisciplinary in make-up, each conference run so far has been attended by over a hundred participants, with the next scheduled to take place in July 2017. The program also includes the Ushaw Lecture Series, aimed at raising awareness of the internationally significant holdings at the College, including documents from the period of Catholic persecution, unique first-edition books and heritage items held at the site. The work undertaken at Ushaw has also seen the publication of Treasures of Ushaw College: Durham's Hidden Gem, which focused on different aspects of the College’s collection and has subsequently featured in several national publications. The program has been facilitated by the St Cuthbert’s Society of Ushaw College, the Congregation of Jesus, and the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, which have jointly funded several fellowships in Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism (1500–1800). A major project is currently underway as part of the program, the AHRC-funded ‘Monks in Motion’ project researching the English Benedictines c.1553–1800.

We also have a number of medieval specialists closely associated with the CCS, with research and teaching interests in the areas of early and late medieval theology and scriptural exegesis, particularly in the 12th and 13th centuries and the patristic periods. We work in partnership with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), one of the most diverse and dynamic centres of medieval and Renaissance studies in the world. The Institute includes forty-five scholars across thirteen departments and three faculties, as well as a vibrant community of postgraduates.