Staff and associates



Professor Tina Beattie

Tina is the Director of Catherine of Siena College and Professor Emerita (formerly Professor of Catholic Studies) at the University of Roehampton. She researches in the field of Catholic theology and gender, human rights and women's rights, and theology and the visual arts. She is a frequent contributor to the Catholic weekly journal The Tablet and to television and radio, including BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Tina works extensively with parishes, religious orders, schools and universities to promote greater theological understanding and awareness of issues to do with Catholic social teaching, the role of women, and the importance of the visual arts. She is also the founder and coordinator of Catholic Women Speak, an international online forum which seeks to promote dialogue, raise awareness and create networks of solidarity and support among Catholic women in the worldwide church.

Administrative staff

Assistant Director

Dr Anna Cantelmi 

Dr. Anna Cantelmi is the Assistant Director of Catherine of Siena Centre. She holds a Master degree in Chinese Studies from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Zhejang University, Hangzhou, China. She previously worked as Executive Officer at SOAS China Institute, London and collaborated with many projects on literature and arts in the UK and China. She taught a seminar series on "Dante in Translation" at the University of Roehampton and Zhejiang University. She taught an online short course on "Migration Matters" at Catherine of Siena Centre, where she has worked since 2017. 

Partnership and Networking Officer

Dr Luca Badini

Luca has a long standing interest in the governance of the Roman Catholic Church, about which he published Democracy in the Christian Church. An Historical, Theological and Political Case (T&T Clark International 2012).
Since 2014 he has been director of research at the non-profit think tank Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, focusing on women’s equality within the Roman Catholic Church, as well as working to improve Catholic sexual ethics, with a particular attention to the ethics of family planning and LGBT relationships. Given the impact current papal teachings on those issues have on women and men worldwide, Luca is also interested in translating academic findings about those issues into accessible educational material. For example, he has contributed as academic consultant to the documentary "Jesus’ Female Disciples: The New Evidence" (Minerva Media: Channel 4 (UK), premiered 8 April 2018).

Course creators and tutors

Anupama Ranawana

Anupama Ranawana is a theologian, writer and researcher with research and teaching interests in South Asian Studies, faith and international development, liberation theology, feminist theology, race, ecological justice, feminist political thought and global political economics.  Her doctoral work (Aberdeen) focusses on religious perspectives, specifically Buddhist feminist thought, as an alternative site from which to understand the international. She also holds a Masters of Divinity from Newman Theological College, Edmonton, Alberta, and a Masters in Global Justice from Oxford Brookes University. Aside from her academic work, Anupama has also worked for think tanks and international development organisations such as Oxfam GB and Caritas Canada. She is presently a Visiting Researcher at Oxford Brookes University. 

Dr Zilka Spahic-Siljak

Dr Zilka Spahić Šiljak holds PhD in gender studies and her scope of work includes addressing cutting edge issues involving human rights, politics, religion, education and peace-building with more than fifteen years experience in academic teaching, and work in governmental and non-governmental sectors. She teaches at Cultural Studies at the University of Zenica and at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Sarajevo. Zilka is also a research associate at Stanford University. Her publications includes: Bosnian Labyrinth: Culture, Gender and Leadership (2019); Living Values: Global Ethos in Local Context of BiH (2018); Shining Humanity – Life Stories of Women Peacebuilders in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014); Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities. Post-Socialist Contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (2012); Women Religion and Politics, 2010; Women, Believers and Citizens (2009). She also runs Transcultural Psychosocial Educational Foundation in Sarajevo, which includes also projects on trauma, memory and healing.

Dr Anna Cantelmi

Dr Anna Cantelmi holds a Doctoral Degree in Comparative Literature from Zhejiang University, China and a Master in Chinese Studies from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London. Her research focus on the transmission and interpretation of Western Literature in Asia, in particular the translation of Dante in China. Her researches focused on translation literature as a cultural process which reflects social chenge, religion, history and gender. She is currently researching on thelogy and religion in literature and its impact abroad.  

Cristina Gangemi 

Cristina Gangemi holds a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology and Catechesis, with a special focus on Disability. She is Co-Director of The Kairos Forum, which focuses on enabling communities to be places of belonging for people with a disability. She has had extensive experience in Special Education, the training of specialised Lay ministers and parent support. Cristina is a Disability Consultant to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and works with the Vatican concerning disability, cultural studies and a new evangelisation with people who have been disabled. She is also undertaking doctoral studies in Practical Theology and Disability.

Dr Nontando Hadebe

Nontando Hadebe is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at St Augustine College in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the Chair of the Southern African Circle for Concerned African Women Theologians, a board member of Catholic Women Preach, and a radio presenter at Radio Veritas, a Catholic Radio station in South Africa. Her doctoral research is 'A Trinitarian theological response to gender challenges in the context of HIV & AIDS in Southern Africa.' Following her doctorate in 2013, she has pursued her research on women and Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church in the African context. Her inclusive focus on all women has extended to sexual minorities, particularly lesbians and their experiences of brutaisation.

Dr Nick Mayhew-Smith

Dr Nick Mayhew-Smith is a researcher and writer specialising in environmental theology, sacred landscapes, and Celtic spirituality. He has written three books on holy places in the natural and built environments, starting with Britain’s Holiest Places (2011), which was made into a six-part BBC television series in 2013. His PhD thesis in 2018 was on early Celtic and Anglo-Saxon nature spirituality, and formed the basis for his book The Naked Hermit (2019). He is currently working on an environmental theology project at the Susanna Wesley Foundation, Roehampton University, looking at ways in which faith communities can make positive and creative responses to the environmental crisis. His latest book Britain’s Pilgrim Places (autumn 2020) is an expression of such outdoor spirituality. Nick is an honorary research fellow at the Digby Stuart Research Centre and an association of the Susanna Wesley Foundation, both at Roehampton University. 

Dr Emily Pennington

Emily is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester, UK. She received her doctorate from the University of Chester in March 2015. Her thesis, entitled “Touching the Future: A Feminist Theology of Eschatological Bodies”, sought to construct a new model of eschatological embodiment based on the values of relationality, fluidity, and tactility. This work was recently published under the title Feminist Eschatology: Embodied Futures (Routledge, 2016). Emily remains committed to centralising women’s embodiments, and is currently researching theological perspectives on women’s experiences of creativity.

Dr Peniel Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar

Peniel Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar is Programme Executive for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation with the World Council of Churches, Geneva. Previously he was Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at the United Theological College in Bangalore, India. His publications include Challenges of Transition: Religion and Ethics in Changing Contexts (ISPCK, 2007) and Dalit Theology and Dalit Liberation: Problems, Paradigms and Possibilities (Ashgate, 2010); and as editor Asian Theology on the Way: Christianity, Culture and Context (London: SPCK 2012, Philadelphia: Fortress 2016) and Many Yet One: Multiple Religious Belonging (Geneva: WCC, 2016).

Esther Stevenson

Esther Stevenson is a an independent leadership coach and organisational development consultant. She learned her craft as a senior manager at Christian Aid, where she worked on leadership development and organisational change across Africa, Central Asia and more recently with community activists across the UK. She holds a degree from the University of York and an MSc in International Development Studies, where her dissertation was on gender and education. Her ongoing area of interest is management innovation, and how leaders – particularly women - can be more authentic, embracing a more reflective and contemplative approach.

Catherine of Siena Centre

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



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