The Franciscan Tradition: Retrieval and Innovation

The second international Franciscan studies conference organised by Durham University will focus on the theme of retrieval and innovation in the Franciscan tradition.

2023 marks two significant Franciscan anniversaries – the 800th anniversary of the inauguration of the Regula Bullata (the Rule of St Francis properly so-called) and the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the English Capuchin province – while 2024 will see several others, including the 800-year anniversaries of St Francis receiving the stigmata and the first Franciscans’ arrival in England, and the 750th anniversary of the death of St Bonaventure.

The aim of this conference is to explore the riches and diversity of the Franciscan tradition in both theological and historical terms, and its significance for the world today.

The conference is particularly interested in Franciscan understandings and expressions of ‘retrieval’ as the recuperation of ideas that may have been lost throughout the centuries but that remain important, and ‘innovation’ in terms of drawing on aspects of the tradition to address changing contexts and the relationship between the two.

A strand of the conference that is encouraged is to highlight the distinctive nature of the Franciscan theological, philosophical, and spiritual tradition, and its contemporary significance in relation to a broad variety of themes. 

The conference is interdisciplinary and welcomes papers from researchers in fields including Theology, History, Literary Studies, Philosophy, Musicology, and Art History. 

Please send proposals (c. 200 words) by email to Dr Brian Casey ( by 11 October 2023 at the latest. 

More information here.