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Durham University

Centre for Catholic Studies


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

(24 July 2017)

The Rev. Dr Gabrielle Thomas

The Rev. Dr Gabrielle Thomas

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.’

Gabrielle Thomas, an ordained priest in the Church of England, recently completed her doctorate at the University of Nottingham on the theological anthropology of Gregory Nazianzen. Over the course of two years, she will be working closely with NBCW-sponsored regional ecumenical discussion groups, together with interviewing key individuals, in order to explore, using the methodology of receptive ecumenism, the diverse experiences women have of participating and ministering within the UK churches, the difficulties and challenges which arise, and what fruitful learning might occur across the traditions. She will also begin a complementary longer-term personal research project, focussed on how women may be both image of God and image of Christ according to the thought of Augustine of Hippo and Gregory of Nazianzus. 

Gabrielle Thomas said, “I am delighted to be involved in a research project which addresses the experiences of women in U.K. churches through the lens of Receptive Ecumenism, since I am committed both to the unity of the Body of Christ and to the flourishing of women in a variety of ministries. As the birth place of Receptive Ecumenism, I can think of no better place for this project than Durham and it is a privilege to be working in such an excellent and innovative department.”

Janet Ward, Convenor of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee of the NBCW said, "We are delighted to be partnering the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University on this innovative project. We are confident that Gabrielle Thomas will bring energy, sensitivity, and insight to its realisation. We look forward with interest to working and learning together."