Margaret Barker – Temple Studies
I am researching the various ways in which the New Testament describes the Great Lady of the Temple, known in the Hebrew Scriptures by her titles: Wisdom, the Queen of heaven, Daughter Zion, the Virgin, the One who joins together, and many more; and by her symbols: the sun, the bright cloud, the tree of life, the water of life, the weaver of creation, and many more.
I am using the Book of Revelation as the framework, since this exists as one text that was certainly used by the early Christians. So far I have explored the Woman clothed with the sun and her Son, the City who is the Bride of the Lamb, the Tree of life restored to the holy of holies in the last vision of the Book, and - the most complicated and tricky one to do - the Great Lady as the opposite of the harlot and mother of abominations described in Revelation 17. This latter involves translating the Greek of Revelation back into Hebrew and then working out the temple style wordplay to recover the original Great Lady who had been replaced by the harlot.
István Cselényi - Sophiology, Theology of the Holy Spirit
Fr István is a retired priest of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, Professor Emeritus of the Hungarian Catholic University, Esztergom, dr. univ. and Phd (theol.), CSc (sociol.), dr. habil. (linguistics), member corresp. of Pontifical Academy St. Thomas, Rome and Professor Emeritus of Theology (Pontifical Academy St. Thomas). He works on Sophiology: Chockmah-Sophia-Wisdom and Ruah-Spirit in the Old Testament, with Sophia and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, and their continuation, often in less obvious and neglected ways, in this history of theology. He is collaborating with Fr Dominic White in publishing this research as a book.
Sr Cathy Jones – Marian Theology
Sr Cathy Jones r.a. is completing her doctoral research on the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit in the writings of Abbé René Laurentin (1917-2017) at St Mary's University, Twickenham. She is examining how Laurentin's prolific works, spanning 70 years, reveal significant changes in Western Marian theology in the second half of the twentieth century, including a growing awareness of Mary's integral connection to the Holy Spirit. While pre-conciliar writings about Mary tended to limit the role of the Spirit to affirming the veracity of the magisterium, the influence of Vatican II and Catholic charismatic renewal led to a much greater awareness of Mary's personal openness to and relationship with the Spirit.
Allied research interests include the Pneumatology of Heribert Mühlen and Yves Congar; Lumen Gentium Ch 8; Marian priesthood; Catholic charismatic renewal and modern Marian apparitions.
Dominic White (Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology and Blackfriars, Cambridge) – Christian cosmology and sophiology, Theology of the Arts
Fr Dominic is currently working on spirit and breath, as part of his collaboration with Fr István Cselényi on sophiology. We commonly speak of “keeping body and soul together”, but St. Paul speaks of human beings as “spirit, soul and body” (1 Thessalonian 5:23). What can this mean? As the Greek word for spirit, pneuma, means both spirit and breath, Dominic is reflecting on how our spirit joins body and soul together, as breath, as well as what connects us with our natural environment. The Holy Spirit is the “life giver” according to the Christian creed, and the mystical tradition suggests also that our spirit is our true self. Dominic is hoping his research and reflections may lead back to an integrative model of holiness, of spiritual life and good breathing, enabling healing of the whole person.