Catherine of Siena College news and events

09 April 2020
A message from the Director and Assistant Director of Catherine of Siena College
With a community from all around the world, we are aware of how many of our tutors, students and friends in Catherine of Siena College are experiencing the impact of the coronavirus crisis in different ways - through illness and bereavement, through financial insecurity, through anxieties about family, work and education. There will be those who feel lonely, afraid and isolated, some will be carrying heavy burdens of care and responsibility, and some will be experiencing increased domestic tensions and conflicts. Whoever you are and wherever you are, please know that we are with you in prayer and hold you close in our thoughts in this time of crisis.
Catherine of Siena Centre brings together teachers and students from many different cultures and countries who are committed to walking together along a path of learning that leads to a more just and sustainable world. The last year has been a time of growth in our curriculum and student numbers, and it has been a great privilege to work with so many talented and insightful people who bring their experience and learning to our discussions. 
Looking forward, from autumn 2020 we plan to introduce two credit-bearing Masters courses - "Understanding Gender: Theology, Language and Incarnation" and "Gender and Social Justice: African Theological Perspectives". These are 20 credit courses with transferable credits. They are the first step in our plan to introduce a full MA in Religion and Gender over the next three years, validated by the University of Roehampton. We shall be sending out more information soon. Even if you have done our shorter courses with these titles, you are still eligible to apply for the MA courses since they will be substantially developed and adapted. As always, bursaries will be available for those on low incomes. So please look out for further news soon of our continuing and new courses for the coming academic year.
It remains for us to wish you all a spirit of consolation and healing through these dark days, remembering that the light shines in the darkness for each and every one of us in different ways, through different prisms, making rainbows of hope wherever and whoever we are.
Tina Beattie and Anna Cantelmi
Director and Assistant Director, Catherine of Siena Centre
10 June 2019

2019-20 Courses announced

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We are happy to announce our new list of courses for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year. We offer six and ten week online short courses suitable for everyone; we have enlarged our range of topics and we have three excellent new tutors to work with us. Courses will be available to purchase from July 2019.

8 June 2019

Tina Beattie was invited to speak at the AGM of We are Church in Dublin on Saturday, 8th June. Her topic was "Women in the Catholic Church: Hopeful but Not Optimistic". She spoke under three headings: Hope and Optimism; Memory and Nostalgia; Imagination and Fantasy. She suggested that all these three can be described in terms of Reality and Unreality. 
Working to change the position of women in the Catholic Church requires hope which stems from patience, discernment and a capacity to live fully in the present with all its opportunities and challenges. Optimism ignores present realities by anticipating a better tomorrow. While there is room for optimism in any life, it can become a form of escapism which prevents us from being attentive to the here and now. 
In terms of memory and nostalgia, Tina quoted the saying that 'tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.' She spoke about the ways in which women are remembering forgotten and neglected aspects of the past as a way of retrieving a women's tradition within the church, bearing in mind that Catholicism has kept alive the memories, names and writings of more women than any other tradition in history. This is faithful remembering which seeks truth and authenticity. Nostalgia is another form of escapism that fails to confront reality in all its complexity.
Imagination and fantasy can be understood in similar ways. Imagination enables us to remember the past, to inhabit the present and to envisage how the future might be different. It's a freedom that is discovered within the bounds of the possible and the imaginable, whereas fantasy is one more form of escapism that fails to confront reality.
Tina also spoke about the dangers of the myth of progress. We do not progress, but must rather struggle to protect the fragile gains and freedoms of the present, agains the encroachment of abusive, violent and repressive forms of power that are always present in every society and era.
Tina is also tutoring on a theology summer school in Dubrovnik in July on the theme of "Society and Pluralisation: Opportunities and Challenges for Women in the Catholic Church". 
30 May 2019

Book Launch - The Good Priest by Tina Beattie (30 May)

‘… an outstanding novel. We should hope that Beattie will carry on writing novels alongside theology’. (Ashley Beck, The Pastoral Review)

Tina Beattie is hosting a book launch at Waterstones Richmond on 30 May 2019, from 6.30 to 8.00 pm. Roehampton colleagues are welcome to attend, but numbers are limited so please RSVP if you plan to do so:

For details of this and future events, please see Tina's website.

28 March 2019

Our Director, Professor Tina Beattie has written on Lucetta Scaraffia's suspension of publication of Donne Chiesa Mondo in today's Guardian. Scaraffia, the editor of the Vatican women’s magazine,  has announced that she and her all-female editorial team are to suspend its publication.

Read the article here

14 March 2019

Our Director, Professor Tina Beattie has written on the latest abuse scandals, the recent Vatican summit on the protection of minors, and the signs of hope among women acting for change in the Church in the latest issue of Tui Motu Interislands Magazine. You can read her piece here

Read our March Newsletter

Read our January Newsletter


Catherine of Siena Centre

Department of Humanities,
University of Roehampton,
SW15 5PH.



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