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Dr Sarah Barthélemy

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Centre for Catholic Studies (01.10.21)021

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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Centre for Catholic Studies (01.10.21)021 in the Department of Theology and ReligionD002, No 5 The College 


I am the Catherine de Francheville Fellow in the History of Catholicism at the Centre for Catholic Studies. My background and experiences in Belgium (UCLouvain) and France (EHESS), through a joint PhD programme, as well as in Italy (Academia Belgica and École française de Rome), have been fundamental in orienting my research towards the complexity of the institutional ladders of the Catholic Church from a transnational perspective. Prior to coming to Durham University, I worked as a visiting professor in History at Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (Belgium).

My interests are in gender and history, identity and religious institutions, especially models of apostolic life for women, Catholicism (from the 17th to the 19th century) and global history.

My current research project is centred on the history of the Congregation of La Retraite (c.1650–1820), more specifically on the full participation of women in the elaboration of a spirituality inspired by Ignatius of Loyola; the role of the laity in this experience of religious life, as well as their concrete action of financial and material support; and finally the way in which the project of religious life that Catherine de Francheville had the intuition for survived through the centuries, with a special focus on the tensions brought by the French Revolution.