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DAVIS, Charles Alfred (1923-1999)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): Davis
Held at: Jesuits in Britain Archives
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Full title: DAVIS, Charles Alfred (1923-1999)
Date(s): [1959-1994]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 8 filing cabinet drawers
Name of creator(s): Davis | Charles Alfred | 1923-1999 | theologian


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1923; as a Roman Catholic he was educated at St Brendan's Grammar School, Bristol; St Edmund's Seminary, Ware, 1938; ordained priest, 1946; Gregorian University, Rome, licentiate in sacred theology, 1948; taught fundamental theology and apologetics, St Edmund's, 1949-1952; Professor of Dogmatic Theology, St Edmund's, 1952-1964; Heythrop College, 1964-; attended the third session of the Second Vatican Council, 1964; first Roman Catholic to present the Maurice lectures at King's College, London, 1966; announced publicly that he had resolved to break with the Roman Catholic church, 1966; Clare College, Cambridge, -1967; head of a new religious studies department at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1967-1970; Professor of Religious Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, 1970-1991; editor of the periodical Studies of Religion / Sciences Religieuses, 1977-1985; Principal of Lonergan University College in Montreal, 1987-1991; retired, 1991; returned to Britain, 1993; died, 1999.

Publications: A Question of Conscience (1967)
Theology and Political Society (1980).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Professor Charles Davis, [1959-1994] including personal papers and notes on topics including ethics, conscience, prayer, Eucharist, penance, faith, anointing of the sick, meaning of history, magisterum, atonement, freedom, sexual morality, the devil, the church, contraception, John Milton, hypnotism, Christian reform, Jesus Christ, liturgy, the Virgin Mary, ecumenism, baptism, interpreting modern theology and celibacy; working papers and papers for taught courses on the following topics: Christian mysticism, living as a Christian, theories of religion, Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy, Leslie Milton, promise of critical theology, faith and the artist, doctrine and life, Bernard Lonergan, 'our bodily selves and God', religion and literature, psychoanalysis, William George Ward, early Christianity, unity, Paul Ricoer, transubstantiation, David Lodge, Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, Mary Gordon, John Updike, Johann Baptist, J F Powers, Marc P Lalonde, secularisation, political theology, Medieval Christianity, Christ and the world, parables, Ursula LeGuin, Flannery O'Connor, Callahan, Iris Murdoch, Margaret Drabble, Hermuenics, Christian modernism, Thomas Hardy, the human body, Herbert Hartley Dewart and religious experience.

Notes for PhD seminars including on Karl Marx, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegal, G E Moore, Reinhold Niebuhr, Friedrich Nietzsche, Godamer, William James and Richard Hare and other seminars including on Michel Foucault, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Max Weber, Buckminster Fuller and Woodstock College seminar, 1973.

Lectures including on the Vatican, CBC talks, 1967, the Wilson lectures, lectures at Huron College, Mar 1984 and the Simonsville talks; unpublished papers and articles by Davis; reviews, on and by Davis; papers relating to the Killam Research Fellowship; poems; press cuttings chiefly by or on Davis; obituaries; papers relating to conferences including the 'Critical theory and empirical method' conference and a report on the conference on 'The relevancy of organised religion', Oct 1969; diary of a visit to England, Aug 1975; draft manuscript 'The Presence of Christ, Reflections on the Eucharist'; papers relating to appointments including CVs and references; papers relating to academic institutions including Concordia University, Pontifica Universitas Gregoriana, Heythrop College, Lakehead University and the University of Alberta; Davis' personal financial and legal papers and other personal papers; offprints of articles and journals; PhD theses supervised by Davis and personal and professional correspondence on topics including leaving the Roman Catholic Church; the birth of his children; conferences and talks; his wedding; on 'becoming a liberated Christian'; ecclesiastical topics; royalties and correspondence with publishers, notably Cambridge University Press.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order.

Conditions governing access:

Access is restricted to researchers approved by the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Permission to reproduce items must be sought from Davis' executor.

Finding aids:

Box list available in the Library.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received from the family, 2000.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford DNB.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Oct 2008

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