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Register for this conference

12 March 2024 - 14 March 2024

9:00AM - 1:30PM

Durham University

  • Standard Conference package £190 per person, Reduced Conference package for students £160 per person

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The second international Franciscan studies conference organised by Durham University will focus on the theme of retrieval and innovation in the Franciscan tradition.

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The Franciscan Tradition: Retrieval and Innovation

Conference Directors: James Kelly and Rik Van Nieuwenhove 

Conference Secretary: Brian Casey 

Conference Organising committee: Thomas Piolata, OFM Cap, and Liam Temple 

The Conference 

2023 marks two significant Franciscan anniversaries – the 800th anniversary of the inauguration of the Regula Bullata (the Rule of St Francis properly so-called) and the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the English Capuchin province – while 2024 will see several others, including the 800-year anniversaries of St Francis receiving the stigmata and the first Franciscans’ arrival in England, and the 750th anniversary of the death of St Bonaventure.

The aim of this conference is to explore the riches and diversity of the Franciscan tradition in both theological and historical terms, and its significance for the world today.

The conference will look at Franciscan understandings and expressions of ‘retrieval’ as the recuperation of ideas that may have been lost throughout the centuries but that remain important, and ‘innovation’ in terms of drawing on aspects of the tradition to address changing contexts and the relationship between the two.

The conference also aims to highlight the distinctive nature of the Franciscan theological, philosophical, and spiritual tradition, and its contemporary significance in relation to a broad variety of themes.

Confirmed speakers include: 

Margaret Carney, OSF (St Bonaventure University) 

Johannes Freyer, OFM (University of San Diego) 

Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ (Loyola University Maryland) 

John McCafferty (University College Dublin) 

William Short, OFM (University of San Diego, and Collegium Sancti Bonaventurae, Rome) 

Giuseppe Buffon, OFM (Pontifical Antonianum University) 


Conference Programme

The Franciscan Tradition DRAFT PROGRAMME at 23 11 23



Delegates are asked to book their own accommodation, as required, direct with hotels. Various accommodation is available in Durham City.  Some suggestions are available here: Suggestions for accommodation in Durham.

Accommodation at Delta Hotels Durham Royal County for the Franciscan Studies conference, from £106 per night

Limited accommodation is available on a first come first served basis at the Marriott Durham Royal County Hotel where the first two days of the conference are being held (Day 3 is being held at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church, 0.2miles from the Marriott hotel). This is priced at £106 per night including breakfast.

Individuals who wish to stay at the Marriott are asked to book accommodation via the Hotel’s secured reservation link (see below) or by calling +44 191 386 6821. Reservations must be guaranteed by a method of payment at the time of booking. The Group Rate, £106 per night is guaranteed for reservations made on or before the 1st February 2024, at 17:00. 

Book your group rate for Durham University Bed and Breakfast (Department of Theology and Religion)


Conference Registration

Standard Conference Package, to include conference fee, 4 refreshments, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, and 1 conference dinner - £190 per person.

Reduced Rate conference package (for students), to include reduced conference fee, 4 refreshments, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, and 1 conference dinner - £160 per person.

Please register for the conference here.

Registration closes on 18 February 2024.

If you have any queries about the conference please contact the Conference Secretary, Dr Brian Casey at


Standard Conference package £190 per person, Reduced Conference package for students £160 per person