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Centre for Catholic Studies



Registration now open for EMBIC III

Registration is now open for the third biennial conference Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism conference, The conference, entitled Early Modern Orders and Disorders: Religious Orders and British and Irish Catholicism, will take place at University of Notre Dame’s London Gateway on 28-30 June 2017.

More information

(16 May 2017)

International Conference: Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts: 1850 to the Present

'Burning Bush' by Fenwick Lawson

Registration is now open for this conference, which will take place on 5-7 July 2017 in Durham, UK.

This conference is organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University and Ushaw College and is supported by the Centre for Poetry and Poetics and the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University, with co-sponsoring assistance from The Tablet, The Pastoral Review and the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain.

The conference will bring together leading scholars to address key questions in the study of Catholic art and writing, including the question of whether there is a distinctive tradition of ‘Catholic literature’. Among the main topics and themes of the conference are Catholic memoir and autobiography; Catholic fiction and poetry; Catholic readership; journalism; publishers and archives; and the visual arts. The conference will include film, music, and the visual arts, as well as literature. It will also draw on works of art and literature closely associated with Ushaw College.

Featured speakers include:

  • Prof. Eamon Duffy 
  • Prof. Terry Eagleton
  • Prof. Paul Lakeland
  • Anna Lawson 
  • Dr Melanie McDonagh
  • HE Daniel Mulhall
  • Paul Anthony Murray 

The conference will also include short-paper sessions on topics such as: 

  • Spiritual autobiography
  • Sacred objects
  • Catholic poetry from Hopkins to Heaney
  • James Joyce and the Irish novel
  • Nineteenth-century religious painting and sculpture
  • Catholic book history and publishing

Conference poster

Conference programme

(26 Apr 2017) » More about this conference

Call for Papers: Suffering, Diminishment and the Christian Life

Conference: January 8-10, 2018 at Ushaw College, Durham, UK

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.

Send abstracts of between 200-300 words for 20-minute papers to Rachel Davies at by June 15, 2017.

(25 Apr 2017) » More about this call for papers

Refugee Hosts project: First newsletter now available

The four year AHRC-ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project (2016-2020), which is investigating local community experiences of and responses to conflict induced displacement from Syria: views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, is delighted to announce the release of our first newsletter. You can read and download the newsletter on the project's website

(23 Apr 2017) » More about this project

Life Amid Loss: What I Learned from the Sisters of La Retraite

Professor Karen Kilby (Bede Chair of Catholic Theology with the CCS) reflects on her collaboration with the Sisters of La Retraite in a new Commonweal article, available here.

(23 Feb 2017)

Durham University to develop new international residential research library at Ushaw College

A new international residential research library, the only one of its kind in the UK, is to be developed at Ushaw College, in a £2 million project led by Durham University.

It is intended that leading researchers from around the world will visit Ushaw to study and work with its outstanding collections, along with those of Durham Cathedral and the University’s Palace Green Library, enhancing the thriving scholarly community that already exists in and around Durham City.

Further information

(3 Feb 2017)

New monograph by Dr Nicole Reinhardt

"Voices of Conscience: Royal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France"

Oxford University Press


(18 Oct 2016) » More about this monograph

50 Years of Walking Together in Faith; Exploring New Directions in Anglican-Roman Catholic Relations

On Wednesday 5 October 2016, Prof Paul Murray and Dr Anna Rowlands will speak at a symposium of 36 Catholic and Anglican bishops, entitled '50 years of walking together in faith; exploring new directions in Anglican-Roman Catholic relations'.

(3 Oct 2016) » More about this symposium

Centre for Catholic Studies Annual Report

The latest Centre for Catholic Studies Annual Report (to March 2016) is available here.

(23 Jun 2016)

History of Catholicism Alive at Durham University

To fully understand the English Catholic martyrs, they must be re-contextualized in the era in which they lived.

This was the message of Professor Michael Questier speaking at Ushaw College on Catholic martyrdom in late Elizabethan England. In his lecture, which was part of the Ushaw lectures series organised by Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, Professor Questier suggested that portraying the martyrs in a white-washed way separated them from the nation’s history of which they are very much a part.

(23 May 2016) » More about History of Catholicism Alive at Durham University

Paschal Mercy and the Power of Belief

Rachel Davies, a PhD student at the Centre for Catholic Studies, has had an article published in the Tablet.

The mercy of God and the rising and dying of Christ are two of the central mysteries of the Christian faith. Rachel Davies explores how one mystery might illuminate the other.

The article can be found here. (Please note that, to access the full article, you might be asked to register with the Tablet website. This is free of charge.)

(23 May 2016)

The Sepulchrine Research Associate

Hannah Thomas

The Department of Theology and Religion, in partnership with the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, is pleased to announce the award of the newly established Sepulchrine Research Associate—a 21-month Postdoctoral Fellowship in Early Modern English Catholicism (1500-1800) to Hannah Thomas, archivist and PhD candidate at Swansea University.

(29 Sep 2014) » More about The Sepulchrine Research Associate

St Hilda Chair in Catholic Social Thought and Practice: Dr Mark Hayes confirmed as inaugural appointee

Dr Mark Hayes

The Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, within which the Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) is situated, and Durham University Business School are delighted to announce the concurrent appointment of Dr Mark Hayes as the inaugural holder of the St Hilda Chair in Catholic Social Thought and Practice. Dr Hayes’ appointment will begin in September 2014, when he will be installed as a Reader of Durham University.

(24 Jun 2014) » More about St Hilda Chair in Catholic Social Thought and Practice: Dr Mark Hayes confirmed as inaugural appointee


Read about past conferences, lectures, seminars, events and news items in the Centre for Catholic Studies' Archives.

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CCS Newsletter 27