Search for Roman Catholic Scholar to hold Bede Chair
Durham University and the Roman Catholic Church have plans to set up a Centre for Catholic Studies which will house the first endowed Chair of Catholic Theology at a secular UK university.
This announcement follows the recent death of the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, the Right Reverend Kevin Dunn, who had been actively campaigning to raise the £2 million necessary to create the Chair.
It is planned for the Chair to be involved in the outreach projects of the centre, which aims to become an internationally known research centre. Austin Donohoe, Chair of the Fundraising Committee and Director of Catholic social services for the diocese, said: “The partners in this project are of the conviction that we now have the opportunity to help create another great centre of Catholic learning for the people of this region and well beyond”
The Bede Chair and Centre for Catholic studies are set to be officially launched in early May through a series of public lectures held by the Department of Theology and Religion, as well as an international conference. There are plans to find a leading Roman Catholic scholar to become the first person to hold this unique position and act as a figurehead for the Centre.
Centre Director Dr Paul Murray said: “We are immensely grateful to all our partners who have made this possible… These developments act as a measure of the way in which the UK has become a real centre for world-class Catholic theology. They provide a secure, long-term platform for the continued flourishing of such theology into the future”.