One of the Catholic Church’s leading figures has been welcomed to Durham University.
Sister Nathalie Becquart delivered the Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture 2023 and opened a ground-breaking research symposium concerning what the Catholic Church can learn from six major Protestant traditions.
Sister Nathalie has a key role in the global Synod process established by Pope Francis.
The Synod is the largest grassroots listening process undertaken by the Catholic Church and aims to renew processes of participation, governance and mission in the life of the Church.
Professor Anna Rowlands, of Durham’s Department of Theology and Religion, will support the Synod process through a two-year secondment that will see her work with the General Secretariat of the Synod, and the Dicastery (Department) for Integral Human Development of the Holy See (Vatican).
Sister Nathalie, who is Undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod, spoke on the topic of Why Ecumenism and Synodality Go Hand-in-hand.
The Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture is being followed by the two-day symposium. A total of 140 church leaders and scholars will be looking at how ecumenical learning - where different religious traditions learn from each other to deepen their own identities and bring those traditions closer together - might be developed and applied in respect of the Catholic synodal process.
The Centre for Catholic Studies is a leading research centre into the idea of receptive ecumenism and the University has one of the highest-rated departments of Theology and Religion in the UK and internationally.
Durham is third in the UK, according to the Complete University Guide 2023, and sixth in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, for its strengths in Theology and Religion.
Arts and Humanities at Durham is also ranked 32nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 and 33rd in the THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023.