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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry


Dominic Aidan Bellenger was a member of the Downside Abbey community in Somerset for many years, where he was variously parish priest, prior, head master and abbot from 2006-2014. He read History at Cambridge and was University Lightfoot Scholar in 1978 when he received his PhD for a dissertation on refugees in the French Revolution. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Higher Education Academy. He was monastic editor of The Downside Review for the year 2017-18.


  • The development of monastic life in the modern period with particular focus on the English Benedictine Congregation and the English Cistercians
  • The English Catholic Community and its identity within the nation and Europe
  • The social, cultural and spiritual role of Benedictinism in contemporary society


Key publications: 

Authored and co-edited books

  • Fearless Resting Place (2015)
  • Here and There: More Occasional Sermons (2015)
  • St Benedict's Stratton-on-the-Fosse Somerset: A History (2014)
  • Monastic Identites: Essays in the History of St Gregory's Downside (2014)
  • Monks with a Mission: Essays in English Benedictine (2014)
  • 200 Downside Monks: A Photographic Record (2014)
  • Keeping the Rule: David Knowles and the Writing of History (2014)
  • Time and Place: Occasional Sermons (2013)
  • St Wulstan's, Little Malvern: A History (2013)
  • Downside Abbey: an Architectural History (2011)
  • Medieval Religion: A Sourcebook (2007)
  • The Mitre & the Crown: A History of the Archbishops of Canterbury (2005)
  • Medieval Worlds: A Sourcebook (2003)
  • Princes of the Church: A History of the English Cardinals (2001)
  • Downside: a Pictorial History (1998)
  • Great Return: English Communities in Continental Europe and Their Repatriation. 1793-94 - South Western Catholic History (1994)
  • Fathers in Faith(1991)
  • Letters of Bede Jarrett(1989)
  • Opening the Scrolls: Essays in honour of Godfrey Anstruther (1987)
  • The French Exiled Clergy in the British Isles after 1789. An historical introduction and working list (1986)
  • English and Welsh Priests, 1558-1800: A Working List (1984)

along with numerous academic papers, reviews and contributions to journals and media.


Senior Research Associate
Senior Member of St Edmund's College
Associate Member, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Dr Dominic Aidan  Bellenger

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