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Suffering, Diminishment and the Christian Life

The Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, are delighted to announce that registration and the call for short papers are open for their conference, entitled 'Suffering, Diminishment and the Christian Life', which takes place from 8th to 10th January 2018 at Ushaw College, Durham, UK.


Is love intrinsically linked to suffering? Are suffering, diminishment and loss on some fundamental level good? This is the direction in which recent theological emphases on vulnerability and kenosis might seem to point. In this conference we will seek to bring the question of the status and meaning of suffering in Christian life and Christian theology into focus, and to reflect on it from the perspectives of biblical, historical, pastoral, political and systematic theology.



The conference is being organised by Prof. Karen Kilby (Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham) and Dr Rachel Davies (CCS alumna, now at the Australian Catholic University). The CCS is pleased to partner with La Retraite and Ushaw for this conference. 


Keynote addresses

·         Dorothea H. Bertshmann: Sin, Suffering and Death in Paul

·         Chris Cook: Thérèse of Lisieux: A Spirituality of Suffering

·         Karen Kilby: The Seductions of Kenosis

·         Bernard McGinn: Mystical Dereliction: Historical Explorations

·         John Swinton: Suffering and Severe Mental Health Challenges? Theological Reflections on the Ambiguity of Psychological Suffering

·         Anna Rowlands: Refugees and Political Theology: Suffering and Resistance

·         Linn Tonstad: Vulnerabilities, Not Vulnerability: Considering Some Differences


Call for short papers

Send abstracts of between 200-300 words for short papers to by 30 September 2017.



·         Conference fee (registration including refreshments): £72.50  (Concessions for postgraduate students or low-waged participants: £47.50)

·         Optional extras include hospitality package (two lunches and two suppers): £96

·         Conference Accommodation for two nights: £105

·         Partial hospitality & accommodation packages are also available, including an option for participants to buy sandwiches from a small café at Ushaw.


More information and online registration at

Registration deadline: 30 November 2017.



Please contact Jane Lidstone with any queries at or on +44 (0) 191 334 1656.

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