Posizione di Prof in theologia cattolica in Inghileterra: Notice of advertisement of the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology at Durham University, UK and request for your help with dissemination and identification

I write to notify you directly of the recent advertisement of the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology within Durham’s UK research-leading Department of Theology and Religion (as assessed by the most recent, 2008, Research Assessment Exercise). With this, we wish to request your help in disseminating this information and in seeking to identify suitable candidates for this prestigious and significant opportunity.

In October 2007 Durham University formalised the existence of the Centre for Catholic Studies within its Department of Theology and Religion, situated on the immensely beautiful World Heritage Site of Palace Green, immediately adjacent to Durham Cathedral. Since that point the CCS has known consistent significant growth. In addition to existing CCS staff here at Durham, in the 2007-2008 academic year we established both a Lectureship in Catholic Studies and, in May 2008, the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology as the UK’s only such endowed post in Catholic theology since the Reformation. Since that point we have also established two Post-doctoral Fellowships in Early Modern English Catholicism, a number of doctoral and MA scholarships, a devoted CCS Administrator post, and a devoted CCS Development Executive post. In addition, we hope also shortly to be establishing a new Senior Lectureship / Associate Professorship in Catholic Theology / Catholic Studies and are very close also to achieving the necessary endowment to establish the UK’s only Chair in Catholic Social Thought and Practice. Most recently the Department has appointed another Catholic theologian to a Readership / Senior Associate Professorship in Medieval Theology.  Durham University is England’s third oldest University and is internationally regarded in the majority of its subject areas; growing out of the Anglican Cathedral school in the first half of the 19th century, it has now been for over 100 years a fully public, broad-subject, research-led university with a fully ecumenical Department of Theology and Religion. The University is in advanced discussions with the Trustees of Ushaw College, the former RC seminary for the North of England, with a view to bringing the historic site and its immensely significant holdings fully under University management as a full college of the University in the Catholic tradition and in close association with an expanded and renamed Institute for Catholic Studies.

Due to Lewis Ayres moving from the Bede Chair, of which he was the first incumbent, to a more traditional professorial post in the Department, we are now re-advertising the crucial and highly prestigious post of the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology as a permanent post with full entitlements (e.g. standard one-in-seven paid sabbatical terms).

This represents a unique opportunity for the right person: 50% research; 30% teaching (composed of some UG teaching but not an onerous load, some MA teaching, and PhD supervision); and 20% theological outreach work in partnership with the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The latter responsibility replaces the 20% administrative function that UK academics typically carry; thus protecting the postholder from any significant administrative responsibilities or development work, including the role of Head of Department. The contractual 20% preparedness to do Bede Outreach work, equivalent to a maximum average of one working day per week, is regarded as including time for preparation, travel, delivery, and subsequent writing-up for popular publication etc.

The post carries with it prestige and strong personal and public profile, all set within a premier institutional context and highly supportive academic environment.

In terms of the kind of person we are looking for to define this exciting post, we need:
1) an internationally regarded Catholic scholar with a specialism in any major recognised sub-discipline of Theology/RS, with recognised international research and publications excellence, and with four strong internationally significant publications (essays and/or monographs) for inclusion in the 2009-20014 national REF census period;
2) an excellent teacher and communicator of theological ideas to a range of audiences (including non-academic church-based groups as part of the Bede Outreach work);
3) a highly personable team-player, with vision for and interest in sharing in the life and work of the vibrant staff and postgraduate community that is the Centre for Catholic Studies and helping further to raise its public and international profile.

I attach the advert for the post, which in turn provides the link to the full Job Description and further particulars on Durham University’s website: http://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/
Reference Number: 2403
Closing Date: 7th March 2013 

Should you wish to contact Prof. Paul D. Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies, in order to discuss this, his contact details are:
Tel. 0044 (0)191 334 3947
Email: paul.murray@durham.ac.uk

With kindest regards and many thanks for your consideration,

Theresa Phillips
CCS Administrator and PA to Prof. Paul D. Murray,
Department of Theology and Religion,
Durham University, UK