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This two-week online summer school in Franciscan Studies is an exciting opportunity to encounter the riches of Franciscan theology, history and spirituality and explore their relevance for today.

Learn from world experts in Franciscan studies through video lectures and live Zoom sessions, and interact with participants from across the globe in small group seminars. The flexible online format means that you can register from anywhere, and fit the courses around your schedule, with the option to take one or more courses as you choose. Featuring William Short OFM, Jacques Dalarun, Daniel P. Horan OFM, Ilia Delio OSF, and William Crozier. 

Two public lectures by leading scholars are open to all (tickets: £5), whether or not you are registered on a course—registration for lecture-only tickets will open on 19 April at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com

 

Main Modules

The two main modules, Francis and Clare and Franciscan Global Vision, have the same timetable. For each day there will be a pre-recorded video by the main lecturer of 20-30 minutes duration, which can be watched at any time, as well as some recommended reading which will be available for download at any time. The timetables for the live seminars, Q&A sessions and public lectures for the week are below.

The estimated time commitment for the main modules, including video lectures, live classes, and reading, is 2-3 hours of study per day.

 

Week 1: Francis and Clare 

With Br William Short OFM (main lecturer) and Prof. Jacques Dalarun (public lecture).

This week-long introductory course introduces the foundational figures of Francis and Clare of Assisi. Pioneering a new approach to forming Christian community in the thirteenth century, their vision of a form of life ‘according to the gospel’ drew criticism from many in their day, yet it endures today in the Franciscan Family worldwide. This course explores the basic elements of that life, its distinctiveness then and now, and the possibilities it offers to those seeking Christian life in common today. 

Includes public lecture by Prof. Jacques Dalarun: Clare of Assisi and Thomas of Celano: An Essential Relationship.

Places are £75 each.

Timetable for the Francis and Clare module
DateSession
Monday 17 May Live Seminar (1hr) at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*
Tuesday 18 May Live Q&A (1hr) at 1600 BST
Wednesday 19 May

Live Seminar (1hr) at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*

Public Lecture (1.5 hrs) at 1800 BST

Thursday 20 May Live Q&A (1hr) at 1600 BST
Friday 21 May Live Seminar (1hr) at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*

*The live seminars are repeated on two time slots each day, so that participants from different time zones can attend at the time most convenient to them. As part of the registration process, participants are asked to specify which seminar they would like to attend. You can use a time zone converter to find out the times in your own time zone. Please remember to search for the correct dates (17–28 May 2021) as many countries use daylight saving time.

The live Q&A and public lecture will be available as video recordings for those who are unable to attend these sessions live. 

 

Week 2: Franciscan Global Vision

With Daniel P. Horan OFM (main lecturer) and Sr Ilia Delio OSF (public lecture).

This week-long course focuses on Franciscan contributions to the development of Christian theologies and spiritualities of creation in the age of global climate change. It considers how the Franciscan tradition can build on the teaching of Pope Francis’ Laudato sí' and contribute to a robust understanding of our place within the community of creation, drawing on insights from figures including Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure, Angela of Foligno, John Duns Scotus, and Peter of John Olivi. 

Includes public lecture by Sr Ilia Delio OSF: That All May be One: Evolution, Artificial Intelligence and the Body of Christ.

Places are £75 each.

Timetable for the Franciscan Global Vision module
DateSession
Monday 24 May Live Seminar at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*
Tuesday 25 May Live Q&A at 1600 BST
Wednesday 26 May

Live Seminar at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*

Public Lecture at 1800 BST

Thursday 27 May Live Q&A at 1600 BST
Friday 28 May Live Seminar at 0900 BST or 1600 BST*

*The live seminars are repeated on two time slots each day, so that participants from different time zones can attend at the time most convenient to them. As part of the registration process, participants are asked to specify which seminar they would like to attend. You can use a time zone converter to find out the times in your own time zone. Please remember to search for the correct dates (17–28 May 2021) as many countries use daylight saving time.

The live Q&A and public lecture will be available as video recordings for those who are unable to attend these sessions live. 

 

Registration for the main modules 

  • To register for either or both of the above modules, please go to https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com. 
  • The registration deadline is 17 April. 
  • We want participation in the Franciscan Studies Summer School to be open to all. If you need financial assistance to help cover the cost of the course fees, we have a number of subsidised bursary places available. To enquire about bursary places, please email ccsfranciscan.admin@durham.ac.uk and wait for the reply before registering. 

 

Advanced Seminar 

Bonaventure: Love and Knowledge

With William Crozier.

This two-week advanced seminar explores the theme of love and knowledge in St Bonaventure’s work. Taught through live classes, this course will guide participants through Bonaventure’s thought on the nature of theology, the Trinity, Christ, the shape of Christian knowledge and living, and mystical rapture. Participants will read Bonaventure’s text The Soul’s Journey into God, as well as other key texts. 

This advanced seminar is suitable for participants who have some background in theology or another relevant field (e.g. history). As places are limited for this course, if you are interested in registering, please email Theodora Hawksley at ccsfranciscan.admin@durham.ac.uk, sharing 100-250 words about your study background, and what you hope to gain from the course. Places will be confirmed by 23 April. 

Places are £100 each.

The Advanced Seminar on Bonaventure is taught through live classes only, which are at the following times and dates:

Timetable for the Advanced Seminar on Bonaventure
DateSession
Monday 17 May Welcome session (1hr) at 1700 BST
Tuesday 18 May Live Seminar (2 hrs) at 1730 BST
Thursday 20 May Live Seminar (2 hrs) at 1730 BST
Tuesday 25 May Live Seminar (2 hrs) at 1730 BST
Thursday 27 May

Live Seminar (2 hrs) at 1730 BST

Friday 28 May Live Seminar (2 hrs) at 1730 BST

 

 

Lecturers 

William Short OFM - Brother Bill - was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. After graduating from the University of San Francisco, he entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Friars of St Barbara Province, making his solemn profession of vows in 1978. After graduate studies in Berkeley and Rome, he was appointed to a teaching position at the Franciscan School of Theology, where he has subsequently served as Academic Dean and President. In addition to his academic work, he is also an amateur wine-maker, a native-plant gardener, and an interpreter-translator for many international Franciscan meetings. 

Jacques Dalarun is a medieval historian, member of the Institut de France, and a corresponding fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Coming from a Norman family, he gained his doctorate in medieval studies in 1984. After focussing initially on the charismatic figure of Robert D’Arbrissel, founder of the abbey of Fontevraud where men were submitted to women, he turned his attention to the experience of religious women in C13th–C15th Italy, before specialising in Clare of Assisi and Francis. Recognised as a leading scholar in Francisan studies, he has published numerous books on Francis and Clare, and has discovered new medieval sources, including another Lifeof St Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano. He has an honorary doctorate from the Franciscan School of Theology (San Diego, CA), and has been awarded the Franciscan Institute Medal from St Bonaventure University (NY). 

Daniel P. Horan, OFM, PhD is the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he teaches systematic theology and spirituality, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, and the author of more than a dozen books including Catholicity and Emerging Personhood: A Contemporary Theological Anthropology (Orbis Books, 2019), which received the 2020 First Place Award for Theology Book from the Association of Catholic Publishers. Among his forthcoming books due out later this year is The Way of the Franciscans: A Prayer Journey Through Lent (SPCK). Fr Daniel regularly lectures around the United States and abroad, and he serves on a number of university, academic, and publication editorial boards, including the St Bonaventure University Board of Trustees, the Franciscan School of Theology Board of Regents, and the Board of Directors of the International Thomas Merton Society. He is co-host of The Francis Effect Podcast. 

Ilia Delio OSF holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova University. Her area of research is Systematic-Constructive theology with a focus on evolution, quantum physics and artificial intelligence and the import of these for Christian doctrine and life. She holds a doctorate in Pharmacology from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She is the author of twenty-three books including Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness - a finalist for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize - and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Award in Faith and Science. She is founder of the Center for Christogenesis, an online spiritual and educational resource for the integration of science, religion, and culture. 

Originally from the Durham area, William Crozier (Billy) wrote his PhD thesis on St Bonaventure's theology of faith and reason, focusing specifically on how the latter is to be viewed in light of his doctrine of Christ's human knowledge. Alongside his interest in early Franciscan theology and philosophy, he is also currently exploring how the early Franciscan masters made significant contributions to scientific thought, particularly concerning the nature of light, colour, matter, and the celestial spheres. To this end, he is currently working on publications pertaining to William of Ockham's contribution to medieval colour theory, St Bonaventure's theory of the moon, and an edition of a set of quaestiones on colour written in St Bonaventure's own hand - the only known example of an independent scientific-philosophical text by the Seraphic Doctor. Billy’s hobbies include beekeeping and gardening. 

 

Questions? 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at ccsfranciscan.admin@durham.ac.uk or on +44 (0) 191 33 41656 (if you leave a voicemail we will get back to you). 

 

A Word From the Centre for Catholic Studies' Dean-Director, Prof. Paul D. Murray 

In strong and close partnership with key Franciscan congregations, Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies is delighted to be launching this new international initiative in Franciscan Studies. 

Since its foundation in 2007, the Centre for Catholic Studies has become recognised as a distinctive home for critical and constructive Catholic studies of the highest quality. 

Over the last twelve years, the creative partnership between church and public academy that the CCS represents has been immeasurably enriched by working with religious congregations, Catholic charities and foundations, and individuals of vision from across these isles and beyond. 

In 2019, the CCS hosted the Franciscan Legacy conference, bringing together members of the Franciscan family, theologians, historians, and others to explore the continuing significance of St Francis and Franciscan traditions. 

This 2021 summer school in Franciscan Studies builds on the energy and enthusiasm from that conference, and represents just the beginning of our ambitions for establishing a permanent home for Franciscan Studies here at Durham University. 

We hope that the summer school will provide an opportunity to share the riches of the Franciscan charism with lay and religious across the world, and explore its significance for today. 

 

Where next?

Register for either or both of the main modules 

Email us about the advanced seminar or about a bursary 

Pricing

Various prices