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Durham University

Centre for Catholic Studies


Paul D. Murray's Research Sabbatical and Karen Kilby as CCS Director

(9 August 2019)

Prof. Paul D. Murray, Dean and Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies, has been awarded an extended research sabbatical from 1 August 2019 through to 1 January 2021. This comes following several self-imposed delays on taking normal sabbatical time in order to focus on the continuing development of the CCS since its establishment in October 2007.

Prof. Murray says, “I intend to use the research leave to collate, edit, and extend my various writings on Receptive Ecumenism towards a book-length study of The Theology and Practice of Receptive Ecumenism. With whatever else of the time that might leave, I intend to progress my longer-term project, Catholicism Transfigured: Conceiving Change in the Church. I will also continue with my work on the Boundary Breaking research project on the ecclesial-cultural implications of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis. I am very grateful for this opportunity to focus for a while on the research and writing part of my work. I ask for your prayers so that I might be enabled to use this time wisely and well.”

During Paul’s sabbatical, Prof. Karen Kilby, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, will serve as CCS Director. Assisted in many and various ways by other CCS staff members, Karen will exercise oversight and strategic leadership in relation to all aspects of CCS research, outreach, and partnership work. As a former Head of Department, former President of various theological societies, and exceptional academic leader, Karen will offer great experience and stewardship to the Centre.

As CCS lead on the History and Theology of Catholicism and as the Fellowships Coordinator for the Durham Residential Research Library (DRRL), Dr James Kelly will continue to be heavily involved in planning and delivering the Ushaw Lecture series and associated broadly Catholic Studies related conferences at Ushaw. Now that the DRRL project has moved from planning to operational existence, Prof. Stephen Taylor, Professor of Early Modern British History, will take on the new role of DRRL Academic Director. As CCS Development Executive and as Acting Deputy Director of the Durham University Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), Tim Guinan will continue to lead on CCS development and fundraising.

During Prof. Murray’s sabbatical, please direct your correspondence as follows:

  • For all matters concerning the academic leadership of the CCS, please contact Prof. Karen Kilby, the CCS Director -
  • For all matters concerning the administrative leadership of the CCS, please continue to contact the CCS Administrator, Mrs Theresa Phillips -
  • For all matters concerning the academic leadership of the Durham Residential Research Library (DRRL), please now contact Prof. Stephen Taylor, the DRRL Academic Director -
  • For all academic advice concerning the DRRL Visiting Fellowships Programme, the associated Durham collections, and the Ushaw Lecture series, please contact Dr James Kelly, the Academic Coordinator for the DRRL Fellowships Programme -
  • For all matters concerning the administration of the DRRL and the DRRL Visiting Fellowships Programme, please contact Mrs Barbara Jackson the DRRL Administrator -
  • To discuss partnership opportunities, donations, and development, please contact Tim Guinan, CCS Development Executive and Acting Deputy Director of DARO –