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Professor Anna Rowlands receives her Expanded Reason award at the Vatican

One of our leading theologians has been honoured in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Professor Anna Rowlands received an Expanded Reason award from The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation and the Expanded Reason Institute at The Francisco de Vitoria University.

Fundamental questions about humanity

The awards recognise university professors and researchers from around the world in any area of expertise whose research or teaching exemplifies expanded reason.

The were set up in light of the late Pope Benedict XVI’s desire to support a broad and open vision of reason in the search for truth and answers to fundamental questions about humanity and its destiny.

Professor Rowlands’ award comes in the research category and is in honour of her book “Towards a Politics of Communion: Catholic Social Teaching in Dark Times”.

Global Synod process

Professor Rowlands is currently on a two-year secondment working with the General Secretariat of the Synod, and the Dicastery (Department) for Integral Human Development of the Holy See (Vatican). 

Her role includes working closely with the team managing the global Synod process established by Pope Francis. 

The Synod is the largest grassroots listening process undertaken by the Catholic Church and aims to renew processes of participation, governance and mission in the life of the Church.

Professor Rowlands is also supporting the core research work of the Holy See department that speaks on matters of politics, economics, climate and migration. 

Find out more

  • Professor Anna Rowlands is the St Hilda Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice, in Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion, and a member of our Centre for Catholic Studies.
  • Read more about the Expanded Reason Awards and Anna’s book “Towards a Politics of Communion: Catholic Social Teaching in Dark Times”.
  • Our Department of Theology and Religion is ranked 6th globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 and is consistently rated as one of the top Departments in the world. One of the most varied and dynamic in the UK, our Department is a place where ‘belief’ and ‘beliefs’ are taken seriously, respected, and studied. Together, we form a lively and welcoming community to those of all faiths and to those of none. Feeling inspired? Visit our Theology and Religion webpages for more information on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
  • Durham University is a top 100 world university. In the QS World University Rankings 2024, we were ranked 78th globally.
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