Professorial Lecture: Virginia Woolf and Catholic Culture

Activity: Attending or organising conference/seminar/workshopSeminar/workshop


Revd Prof Jane de Gay’s research has shown that, although Virginia Woolf has often been thought to be averse to religion, she was actually fascinated by faith and knowledgeable about Christian culture and the role played by religion in society. In recognition of Leeds Trinity’s Catholic foundation, this Inaugural Lecture focuses on Woolf’s knowledge of and interest in Catholic culture. This illustrated talk will highlight the prominence of Catholicism within early twentieth-century culture and among some of Woolf’s associates, and explore Woolf’s reactions to this. The talk will then consider Woolf’s awareness of the importance of Catholicism within English history, her encounters with worship and architecture during her travels in Europe, and her fascination with the Virgin Mary. Finally, the talk will consider what Virginia Woolf contributes to a key priority of Leeds Trinity as a University: the importance of social justice.
Period13 Jun 2019
Event typeOther


  • Virginia Woolf
  • Christianity
  • Catholicism
  • Social justice
  • churches
  • cathedrals
  • modernism