PhD Student News


Due to the generosity of a University of Divinity Research Grant, last month Rev'd Philip Bewley travelled to Toronto, Canada and spent two weeks visiting the Henri J.M. Nouwen Archives housed in the John M. Kelly Library at the University of St. Michael’s College, part of the University of Toronto. Henri Nouwen – priest, psychologist, philosopher and spiritual writer – forms the centrepiece of Philip's PhD thesis. The Archives consist of more than 50 linear metres of material (said to be half a Canadian football pitch, if the archival boxes were laid out end to end). It seems Henri never threw anything away, which is good news for researchers. The collection consists of draft manuscripts, 16,000 incoming and 5,000 outgoing letters, lecture notes and handouts, education records, photographs, and sound and video recordings. Simon Rogers, the Archivist, and library technician, Liesl Joson, are pictured here with Philip. He cannot thank them enough for their warm hospitality during his stay. Similarly, the monks of Holy Cross Priory provided him with a bed, meals and a very warm welcome. Daily in the Archive reading room, Liesl in particular, was extremely attentive to his many demands, pulling numerous file boxes from the shelves to sort through, as he discovered more and more, the rich diversity of Henri’s writings, both published and unpublished. Philip has returned with a treasure trove of information to process, and is already planning his return visit for next year.


We wish Philip the very best with his continued research and writing for his PhD.