InSpiRe Conference – The Catholic Church in Dialogue: Ecclesiam Suam and its Legacy

The Catholic Church in Dialogue: Ecclesiam Suam and its Legacy

Where: St Mary’s Strawberry Hill Campus

When: 16th – 18th June 2014

In Collaboration with Leeds Trinity University and Newman University, Birmingham



Pope Paul VI’s debut encyclical Ecclesiam Suam affirmed that ‘The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives’ (#65), and that‘the dialogue which the Church of today must take up with a great renewal of fervour […] must be readily conducted with all men of good will both inside and outside the Church’ (#93). It marks the true beginning of the past five decades of fruitful and challenging dialogue undertaken by the Catholic Church.

This major international conference marks this this anniversary, looking back at the past fifty years, and re-evaluating both the theory and practice of dialogue in the light of contemporary realities.

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Speakers Included:

  • Dr Mustafa Baig
  • Professor Mary Boys
  • Canon Robin Gibbon
  • Archbishop Bernard Longley
  • Archbishop Kevin McDonald
  • Dr Sara Sviri
  • Dr Peter Tyler
  • Abbot Timothy Wright
  • Professor Jacques Berlinerblau
  • Dr Stephen Bullivant
  • Professor Susan Heschel
  • Dr John McDade
  • Mgr Mark Langham
  • Professor Norman Tanner
  • Canon Nicholas Sagovsky
  • Archbishop Kallistos Ware
    • Dr Ivana Noble is a professor of Ecumenical Theology at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague. For over 20 years she has served as a priest in the Czechoslovak Hussite Church. She did her doctoral studies at Heythrop College, was the co-foundress and the first director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Prague, former president of Societas Oecumenica, and a Senior Research Fellow at the International Baptist Seminary. Currently she is in charge of a research project on Western Orthodoxy.
    • Professor Gavin D’Costa undertook his doctoral work on John Hick’s theology of religions (Cambridge University) which led him into work with the Church of England and Roman Catholic Committees on Other Faiths. In 1998 he was visiting Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome. His recent publications are: Christianity and the World Religions. Disputed Questions in the Theology of Religions, 2009; Co-authored with Paul Knitter and Daniel Strange, Only One Way? Three Christian Response on the Uniqueness of Christ in a Religiously Pluralist World, 2011; and Vatican II’s teachings on Judaism and Islam, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Dr Sara Sviri has been affiliated as a distinguished visiting professor to the Department of Arabic and the Department of Comparative Religions at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2003. Formerly, while residing in England, she was teaching at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London and at the University of Oxford. Her fields of study are Islamic mysticism, mystical philosophy, Judaeo-Arabic mystical writings, comparative and phenomenological aspects of Islam, the formative period of Islamic mysticism, and related topics. Papers on the above-mentioned topics have been published in many academic publications. Her book The Taste of Hidden Things: Images on the Sufi Path was published in 1997 in the USA. In 2008 her Sufi Anthology was published in Hebrew by the Tel-Aviv University Press. She is currently preparing a monograph on Aspects of the Formative Period of Islamic Mysticism.
  • The Revd Professor Dr Nicholas Sagovsky is an Anglican priest. He holds professorial posts in Theology at two ecumenical universities: Liverpool Hope and Roehampton. He has been Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, William Leech Professorial Research Fellow in Applied Christian Theology at Newcastle University and Dean of Clare College, Cambridge. Much of his work has focused on Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenism: he has been a member of ARCIC (the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) since 1992. He is a Vice-president of SPCK.

    Nicholas has been Chair of the West End Refugee Service (WERS) in Newcastle and is now a Board Member of CARA (the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics). He was a Commissioner on the Independent Asylum Commission (2008), and recently participated in an independent Commission of Enquiry into the future provision of Legal Aid. He was co-founder of Article 26, a project to enable those who have sought asylum and been offered a place at a UK university to take up their place, now adopted as a Project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation.


Day One: Monday 16th June 2014

8.30am onwards Registration (Reception and Refectory)
9.00am Arrivals
9.30am Welcome and Introductions. Waldegrave Drawing Room
10.00am Keynote Address: Prof Norman Tanner
11.00am Break
11.30am Dialogue: Bishop Kallistos Ware and Canon Robin Gibbons
1.00pm Lunch – Dolce Vita Café
2.00pm Short Papers – K Block
4.15pm Break – Tea/Coffee available
4.45pm Dialogue: Dialogue: Prof Ivana Noble, Dr Nicholas Sagovsky and Mgr Mark Langham
6.15pm Finish
6.30pm Supper – Refectory (residential delegates only)
7.30pm Film Showing in Pete Postlethwaite Cinema: ‘Of Gods and Men’ with introduction by Annoy Timothy Wright
9.00pm End of Day One – SU Bar open

Day Two: Tuesday 17th June

9.30am Keynote Address: Prof Gavin D’Costa
10.30am Break
11.00am Dialogue: Abbot Timothy W right and Dr Mustafa Baig
12.30am End of morning Session
1.00pm Lunch – Dolce Vita Café
2.00pm Short Papers
5.00pm Eucharist (Chapel). Principal Celebrant: Archbishop Bernard Longley
6.00pm Conference reception – Senior Common Room ‘The Gift of Dialogue’ ed. Archbishop Kevin McDonald
7.00pm Conference Banquet. Speaker: Archbishop Kevin McDonald
Waldegrave Drawing Room (bar open afterwards, D121)

Day Three: Wednesday 18th June

9.30am Keynote Address: Dr John McDade
10.30am Break
11.00am Dialogue: Prof Mary Boys, Prof Susannah Heschel and Dr Jonathan Gorsky
12.30am Lunch – Dolce Vita Café
1.30pm Dialogue: Prof Sara Sviri and Peter Tyler
3.00pm Break
3.30pm Final Session: Dialogue Dr Stephen Bullivant and Prof Jack Berlinerblau
5.00pm Close of Conference

Prayer, Worship and Meditation

Each day of the conference the Roman Catholic Eucharist will be celebrated in the Chapel Crypt at 8.30am.

The university Chapel Crypt and Interfaith Prayer Room will be available for meditation and prayer throughout the conference.

Catholic Church in Dialogue Event Poster (PDF)

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