Past Events

Past Events2020-07-25T19:54:04+01:00

Past Events

Creation, Thursday afternoons course, 23rd April–14 May 2020

Course leader: Dr Férdia Stone-Davis. To apply, please contact our administrator using the online form, by email ( or by phone (01223741039). £170 for the course.

Seminar: Rewriting the Life of Abraham

Mary Ward Visiting Fellow Prof Susan Docherty (Liverpool Hope University) will give a seminar entitled ‘rewriting the Life of Abraham’. The event will take place in the Stonehill Room on 19 February, 2–3.30pm. To register your interest please contact

Seminar abstract:

The extant Jewish literature from the late Second Temple Period reveals the extent of ongoing reflection on the significance of the figure of Abraham and his role in founding the people of Israel. The biblical stories about his life are frequently re-shaped by later authors, in order to express particular theological convictions, or to respond to the challenges of changing social and historical contexts. This seminar will explore the re-presentation of Abraham within a small sub-set of this corpus, a group of texts traditionally categorised as ‘rewritten bible’, including the Qumran Genesis Apocryphon, the Book of Jubilees and the Biblical Antiquities of Pseudo-Philo. These retell the familiar scriptural narratives about Abraham, but with numerous additions and changes. The paper will explore some of these differences, and the new perspectives these texts provide on Abraham’s wife Sarah and other minor characters. It will also consider the underlying questions that this genre of writing poses about the nature of scripture and how it should be treated by interpreters and believers.

Seminar: Sacrament and Self

Cardinal Hume Visiting Fellow Dr Kevin Grove (University of Notre Dame) will give a seminar entitled ‘Sacrament and Self: The Sacramental Economy and the Alone-While-Together Structures of Contemporary Modern Life’. The event will take place in the Stonehill room on 12th March, 2–3.30pm. To register your interest please contact

Living the Life of Christ: Engaging the Imagination in Spiritual Practice, Thursday afternoons course, 13th February–5 March 2020

Course leader: Dr Louise Nelstrop. To apply, please contact our administrator using the online form, by email ( or by phone (01223741039). £170 for the course.

Advent Concert with carols, readings and nativity

This concert took place on 14th December in the Chapel of the Institute, with Kristi Bryson, soprano, Férdia Stone-Davis, recorder, Francis Knights, harpsichord.

Advent Quiet Day: Heart and Mind to Bethlehem – finding ourselves on the journey

This was held on 7th December 11am–3pm at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.

Postgraduate Spirituality Seminar, ‘Beyond Teresa: Religious Life and Practice Influenced by St Teresa of Avila’

This was held on 13th November, 2–5pm. Speakers included: Rev’d Professor Kevin Alban O.Carm, Sr Jo Robson OCD, Professor Peter Tyler. For more information on the series, see

The 2019 Mary Ward lecture by Professor Luce Irigaray

Entitled “Genesis of a New Human Being: To Be Born”, this lecture was held at 4.30pm on October 30 2019 in the Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity, West Road, Cambridge.

Lecture by Professor Richard Rex

‘The King’s Mother: Piety, Politics, and Philanthropy in the Life of Lady Margaret Beaufort’. Professor Rex is Professor of Reformation History at the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge, and Polkinghorne Fellow in Theology and Religious Studies at Queens’ College, Cambridge. The lecture took place at 5pm, 26 September 26 2019, The Chapel, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.

Theology, Creativity and the Arts Study Day

This took place on 31 July 2019 at MBIT. A range of research students from across theology and the arts came together to share their work, and Prof Jeremy Begbie delivered a keynote, ‘Circling around the tridium: James MacMillan’s Music-Theological Vision’

Beyond here there be dragons: The world’s oldest story

Tuesday 28 May 2019, 4.30pm, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, 12 Grange Road, CB3 9DU

A talk by Professor Robert Miller, The Catholic University of America

Israel characterises evil not as a devil with horns, a tail, and pitchfork, but as a dragon. Israel borrowed this mythic image from its neighbours and used it strategically throughout the Old and New Testaments to say something about the nature of evil. As it turns out, the story Israel tells of the dragon is not hundreds, but thousands of years older than the Bible. Why? Why does Israel use this perennial human myth, and what does it mean theologically to worship a God who is both dragon-slayer and dragon-tamer?

For further information and booking contact Ela Wolbek: 01223 741 039|

Mary Ward Lecture: How to Believe

Friday 24 May 2019, 4pm, Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

A talk by Professor John Cottingham, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Reading University, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Roehampton, London, and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford

Many people are deeply interested in the spiritual aspects of human existence but hold back from religious commitment because of doubts about the evidence for God. The lecture will chart a rational pathway towards religious belief by showing how it requires all the responses of the human mind. Intellectual analysis has its place, but to grasp all the relevant evidence we also need emotional openness and imaginative sensitivity.

Easter concert with the Chameleon Ensemble

Friday May 10, 7pm

A programme of music for voice, recorder and organ. Free entry. Chapel, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.

Conversation day on Christianity and Ecology

Saturday 4 May 2019, 11am–4pm.

An event with Margaret Barker and Elizabeth Theokritoff: ‘A Temple not made by Hands: The Christian Vision of Creation and its Liturgical Roots’. A joint event organised by the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology and the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.

Lent Quiet Day of Prayer and Reflection

On 9 March, MBIT Associate Member Ged McHale led a Lent quiet day at the Institute, ‘Let Go and Let God: Fasting from Fear’.

Book Launch

On 13 February 2019 we hosted a launch for Mgr Mark Langham‘s new book, The Caroline Divines and the Church of Rome, which considers Caroline contributions to ecumenical dialogue

Advent Quiet Day of Prayer and Reflection

To mark the end of the Jubilee Year, we hosted a quiet day of prayer and reflection on the subject of ‘Blessings, giving as the angels give.’ This Advent retreat took place at the Institute on Saturday 8th December from 10am to 3.30pm.

The day was led by Kate Scotland, Mari Kelly-Gross, and Ged McHale.

Advent Candlelight Concert

On Friday, 14th December, 7pm, we hosted a candlelit evening of music performed by the Chameleon early music ensemble: Kristi Bryson, soprano, Férdia Stone-Davis, recorders, Douglas Hollick, chamber organ. Works included Bach, Buxtehude, Telemann and Mozart.

Jubilee Lecture 2018


Sir Roger Scruton

Watch here. This event took place on May 18th, at the Queen’s Theatre, Emmanuel College, celebrating 25 years of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology

Mary Ward Lecture 2014


Mary McAleese in conversation with Janet Martin Soskice

Listen here. This event took place on March 1st, at the Cambridge University Law Faculty, celebrating twenty years of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology.

Public Lectures 2012

This lecture series was focused on developing a public discussion for how a Catholic social vision of society can contribute to current questions on the ongoing economic crisis. It included many different perspectives from economics, theology and politics. We made audio recordings of these lectures available. Please click on the links below to listen, and become part of the public debate:

6th February: Prof. Dan Finn – On the Moral Ecology of Markets (listen here)

13th February: Prof. Stefano Zamagni – Imagining a Civil Economy (listen here)

20th February: Prof. Johan Verstraeten – Towards an Economy with a Human Face (listen here)

27th February: Lord Glasman & Prof. Phillip Booth – Capitalism and the Free Economy (listen here)

5th March: Dr. Mary Hirschfeld – Thomism for the 21st Century (listen here)

12th March: Dr. Catherine Cowley – Virtue in the Institution (listen here)

For further information, contact Dr. Anna Rowlands


The Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge, has named its library, the ‘Lash Library’, in recognition of all the generous support it has received from Cambridge based married couple, Professor Nicholas Lash and his wife Janet Lash since the college’s inception in 1993 and onwards. At the official re-opening of the library at the start of Michaelmas term on Thursday 4th October 2012, amidst a packed gathering of staff and students, past and present, Sr Bridget Tighe, former principal of the college, spoke warmly of how influential the couple had been in establishing the first Cambridge Catholic College specialising in women’s theological education. Sr Bridget recalled the behind the scenes academic support and theological vision provided by Nicholas while he was the then Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and the remarkable fundraising skills of Janet who acted as Chair of the college’s fundraising appeal which eventu- ally enabled the Institute to buy its beautiful property from the Canonesses of St Augustine in 2003.

“Without the tenacity, know-how and endless generosity of the Lashes over the last two decades of the Institute’s growth, we wouldn’t be here today to be able to offer the transforming experiences for students in theological education and pastoral practice that the college is respected for today” said Sr Bridget. “Naming our library, the Lash library, is a small mark of our deep gratitude and esteem for all their efforts to get us to this point of our development” she said.

The couple unveiled the library plaque to much applause and Janet Lash responded with her own thanks and spoke of how her own and Professor Lash’s support had always continued in the light of the story of Emmaus. She spoke of her pleasure of seeing this same story in the life of the Insti- tute today: shared teaching and learning, breaking bread together and returning into the world to serve as disciples and witnesses to the Gospel.



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