World religions and theology
- Course Type: Undergraduate
- Course Code: TR008
- No. of Places: 29
- Min Entry Points 2012: 365 points
- Duration: 4 Year(s) Full Time
- Award: B.A.
- Course Options:
TR008 - World religions and theology is a single honor course where World religions and theology is read almost exclusively for four years.TR001: World religions and theology (TSM)must be combined with one other subject within the two-subject moderatorship (TSM) programme. TSM is a joint honor programme. An honors degree is awarded in both subjects. For subjects that combine with World religions and theology see TSM: possible combinations. Single honor and TSM students follow the same principal subjects. The range of courses undertaken by TSM students, however, is less extensive.
- How to apply: See how to apply
ApplyTo apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below
- World Religions and Theology, 4 Year(s) Full Time, Closing Date: 08/FEB/2013
Mature Student - Supplementary Application FormRead the information about how to apply as a mature student, then select the link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.
- World Religions and Theology, Closing Date: 01/JUN/2013
Advanced Entry ApplicationsRead the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.
This subject studies religion both as a cultural force that influences worldviews, practices, and institutions, and as particular traditions, with a special focus on the monotheistic religions that have shaped Western cultural history. The development of their self-understandings within the cultures they encountered and helped create are studied in a non-denominational setting. The variety of approaches to religion as well as biblical texts, their origins and their histories of translation and reception from antiquity to the present age are core areas of inquiry.
Major areas of interest continue to be the roots of Western culture and the history of reception of biblical monotheism in different eras as a factor in shaping European world views, practices and institutions.
Is this the right course for you?
The study of religions, of the origins and reception of biblical monotheism and of theological thinking that linked it to the philosophies of each era has never been more relevant than it is in today's globalised world. In taking this arts degree you will engage in broad introductions as well as in depth analyses of religious traditions and of the approaches used to examine them. You will get to know the contributions of different disciplines, such as history, archaeology, philology, philosophy, sociology, literary and cultural studies, and be able to trace major transformations in Western culture from its roots in antiquity to the present day. Contemporary debates on issues such as science and religion, ethics, and politics are treated in a non-denominational context. We do not presume that you have any previous knowledge of the subject.
In your first year you will study a range of introductory courses:
- Introduction to World religions
- Introduction to Biblical studies
- Introduction to theology
- The Abrahamic faiths in their history of tradition
- Religions from the first to the twenty-first century
- Approaches to the study of religion
From the second year on, you may choose from a range of courses depending on the individual interests you have discovered in your first year. Students may choose courses on subjects such as:
- The origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- Ancient languages, especially Greek and Hebrew
- The theological debates between Jewish, Christian and Islamic thinkers in the Middle Ages
- Key controversies in Western religious and philosophical thought
- Asian religious traditions and their histories
- Philosophical and theological approaches to God
- Biomedical ethics, including issues such as human cloning
Students in the second year may substitute a Broad Curriculum course for one of these half year courses.
Students have a variety of subject choices in the Junior and Senior Sophister (third and fourth) years. These include:
- Hebrew Bible (historical and literary approaches to texts and their Ancient Near Eastern contexts)
- The New Testament and Early Christianity (origins and earliest history of Christianity)
- Ethics in modernity and theological responses
- Reformation and Enlightenment
- Hermeneutics (the theory and practice of interpretation)
- Theological ethics and ecology
- The Bible and art
Students not only encounter religious cultures in the lecture theatre and libraries, but also enjoy excursions to local libraries (e.g. the Chester Beatty Library), museums, and other cultural destination central to the history of religious traditions. A range of extracurricular activities is available ranging from participation in lively College societies (e.g. the Theological society Theo") to excursions abroad.
Students write between five to six essays per semester depending on whether they choose a language module. In addition they sit end of the year examinations for six courses (three for TSM students).
A student exchange programme offers you the opportunity to spend up to a year at the University of Leuven in Belgium, the University of Glasgow in Scotland or other universities open to TCD students, e.g. in the US and Canada.
The course in World religions and theology is an arts degree and shares many features of other arts degrees in Trinity College. A knowledge of the cultures, values and histories of different societies in the global community is an asset for many types of careers. Students graduate with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities which multi-cultural societies present. This understanding is of particular value to those who pursue careers in media, education, public policy making, human resources and health care professions, law and business. Graduates have skills which are highly valued by potential employers, and our graduates pursue the same kinds of careers as other arts graduates. Over recent years these have included careers in publishing, media, business, education, archaeology, tourism, law and psychology. Many of our graduates go on for postgraduate studies at Trinity College and first tier universities around the world. Trinity College's Careers Advisory Service recently surveyed employers about what they looked for in arts graduates and top of the list came: enthusiasm for the position, personal qualities and transferable skills such as good oral communication, written communication, team work and problem solving. Students of religions and theology have ample opportunity to develop all of these skills within a department which is relatively small and student centred.
Tel: +353 1 896 1297