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Register for the conference

12 July 2022 - 14 July 2022

12:00AM - 12:00AM

The University of Notre Dame's London Global Gateway

  • Standard package: £150. Reduced rate package (for students/those on low income): £120.

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An international conference being held in person in London


This interdisciplinary conference will explore the Catholic tradition’s contribution to ‘place-making’ through the arts, including architecture, graphic arts, sculpture, drama, literature, and music. How do the arts create, shape, or contest Catholic global, regional, and local identities? How might the liturgy shape our understanding of ‘place’ and, in turn, how might our perception and creation of ‘place’ inform or reform the liturgy? What difference do the material surroundings in which we encounter religious artworks make to our reception of them? And how has art in the Catholic tradition attended to the ‘displaced’, the homeless, refugees, and to the ‘more-than-human’ world?

Confirmed Speakers

  • Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury)
  • Timothy Schmalz (sculptor)
  • Robin Jensen (University of Notre Dame)
  • Romana Huk (University of Notre Dame)
  • Paul Hills (Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Valentin Gerlier (University of Chester) 

With a poetry reading by Hilary Davies, live sculpting by Timothy Schmalz, and a musical performance of Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’

Call for Papers

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers from across the disciplines engaging visual art, literature, and music in relation to the theme of The Poetics of Liturgy and Place. We will also consider papers under the heading of Catholicism, Literature and the Arts more broadly. If you wish to propose a paper, please submit your details including a paper title and a 80- to 150-word abstract using our online submission form by 16 May. 


Standard package: £150. Reduced rate package (for students/those on low income): £120.

Prices include conference fee, refreshments and the two lunches. Delegates are asked to book their own accommodation.

Please register for this conference online on our booking site. Early registration is advised as space is limited. The registration deadline is Sunday 26 June 2022. 


A limited number of bursaries are available for students/those on low income. To express interest in these, please contact as soon as possible and before registering for the conference.

About Us

This conference is being organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University and the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, in association with The Tablet and Farm Street Church.


The conference will be held at the University of Notre Dame's London Global Gateway. The address is 1-4 Suffolk Street, London, SW1Y 4HG, United Kingdom. Venue details.


If you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact us by emailing or leaving a message at +44 (0) 191 334 1656.


Draft Programme

Tuesday 12 July

1.15 Registration
2.00 Conference Welcome/Opening Remarks
2.15 Romana Huk (University of Notre Dame): 'Footsteps Over Ground': Liturgical poetics and location in avant-garde poetics
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Walk/tube to Farm Street Church
4.30 Timothy Schmalz (sculptor): Title TBC*
6.00 Mass (optional)
6.30 Wine reception*
7.00 Musical performance*: Oliver Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, introduced by Joshua Copeland (University of Notre Dame) TBC
8.00 Close for the day

* Events at Farm Street are for conference delegates and are ticketed events for a wider audience. Conference registration includes a place at each of these events.

Wednesday 13 July 

9.30 Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury): Fixed Place and Mobile Time: The archaeology of experience in David Jones and others  
10.45 Coffee
11.15 Parallel paper sessions
12.55 Lunch
1.45 Paul Hills (Courtauld Institute of Art): The Poetics of Place in the Paintings of Giovanni Bellini, with a Coda on David Jones
2.45 Elizabeth Powell (Durham University and University of Notre Dame): Welcome and Introduction to National Gallery Itinerary on theme of Liturgy and Place
3.00 National Gallery visit
5.00 Hilary Davies (poet): Across Country: 'Crossroads are everywhere' – how faith, poetry and place intersect. Hilary Davies will read selected poems from her collections and talk about how the journey of faith comes out of our experience of the incarnate as encountered through place.
6.00 Conclude for the day

Thursday 14 July

9.30 Parallel paper sessions
11.10 Coffee
11.40 Parallel paper sessions
1.20 Lunch
2.15 Robin Jensen and Lucas Christensen (University of Notre Dame): The Stations of the Cross in a Stadium? Or How Viewers Encounter Sacred Art in a Secular Context
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Valentin Gerlier (University of Chester): 'The Guesthouse' - For a Religious Ecology of Hospitality
5.15 Closing remarks
5.30 Close



Standard package: £150. Reduced rate package (for students/those on low income): £120.

Prices include conference fee, refreshments and the two lunches. Delegates are asked to book their own accommodation.


Image above left: The Palace by Tim Patrick; oil on linen, 160 x 270 cm. Used with permission.