Next week, Thursday 22nd February, Dr Jack Cunningham from Bishop Grosseteste University will be delivering a public lecture, at Ushaw College, County Durham, as part Ushaw Lectures Series run by Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies, and in association with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Saving Catholic Grosseteste: Fr Philip Perry’s Lost Biography
The lecture will explore the wonderful new discovery of a late 18th century life of Grosseteste, from the English College at Valladolid. Fr Philip Perry, the Rector of St Alban’s English seminary in Valladolid, decided to challenge the prevailing Protestant image of Grosseteste as a proto-reformer, by writing a biography of Grosseteste that would restore his reputation as a solid Roman Catholic. However, Perry’s timing could not have been less auspicious. In 1760s English Catholics were close to achieving emancipation, the Vicar Apostolic, Richard Challoner suppressed the polemical text and to this day it remains in handwritten manuscript form. This is a considerable pity because Perry’s work has many qualities and it offers us a fascinating glimpse into both the life of one of England’s greatest ecclesiastics and also into the precarious politics of the eighteenth-century English Catholic Church. This text has been recently prepared for publication by Jack Cunningham and it will provide the topic for his lecture. The implications for the reception of Grosseteste’s life and the meaning it held for various constituencies are extremely interesting, and the part this biography played in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue are considerable. The discovery of Fr Perry’s life is a fascinating story, and adds more depth and layer to the after-life of the remarkable Robert Grosseteste.
The lecture takes place in the Exhibition Hall at Ushaw at 18.00, with a drinks reception the Refectory at 17.30. Places are free – book here for a free ticket. Full details for directions and transport are included on the booking site. See you there!