Lecture Series Promotes Ushaw’s National Importance

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Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies is launching a series of events to highlight the significance of Ushaw College.

In an effort to raise awareness of the nationally-important holdings at the former seminary – including documents from the period of Catholic persecution and rare first edition books – the Centre is arranging a series of lectures at the former seminary.

Before Christmas, the lectures will consider the reaction of English Catholics to Enlightenment Arts and Sciences. The series will be opened by the well-known historian, Eamon Duffy, on 17 October who will talk about the eighteenth century Ushaw-trained historian John Lingard. On 31 October, Durham’s Stefano Cracolici and Giovanna Capitelli will explore Ushaw’s art and the heritage of faith. The final lecture of 2012 will be given by Ushaw’s Michael Sharratt, who will talk about Catholicism, modernity and science at Ushaw in the nineteenth century, in particular approaches to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The lecture series will continue in 2013, with topics including the Pugin architecture of Ushaw and its silver, before a major conference on Early Modern Catholicism is held at the college next summer. The events will also lead towards the publication of a book about the treasures of Ushaw.

Speaking of the upcoming events, Dr James Kelly, a fellow at the Centre for Catholic Studies who will be working on the Ushaw material, said:

“These events are aimed at showing just how important Ushaw and its holdings are not just to the Catholic community, but to the history of the North-East and England more generally. By looking at Ushaw in this way, it becomes clear that its history – and that of Catholicism – is not a mere footnote to the national story but of lasting importance.”

The Ushaw lectures will start with refreshments at 5:30pm. Each event will be accompanied by a small exhibition of items held at Ushaw relevant to the topic.


The overall theme is: ‘English Catholic reactions to Enlightenment Arts and Sciences’.

17 October
Eamon Duffy
John Lingard and the Reformation

31 October
Stefano Cracolici and Giovanna Capitelli
Ushaw Art and the Heritage of Faith

28 November
Michael Sharatt
Catholicism, Modernity and Science:
Teaching at Ushaw on the eve of Vatican I

Register to attend

You don’t have to pay to attend the lectures, but you must register for your free ticket with Theresa Phillips:

e: ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk

t: 0191 334 1656