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World religions and theology

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

What is World Religions and Theology?

World Religions and Theology offers a unique opportunity to approach religion from different perspectives.

Biblical studies will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the origins and transformations of Jewish and Christian monotheisms in their historical and cultural contexts.

Theology investigates the development of Christian self-understanding in its interaction with different cultures and eras. In ethics, principles such as human dignity, autonomy and justice are examined and applied to issues like surveillance technologies, genetic enhancement, and ecological sustainability.

This course includes the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the religions of Asia and Africa, movements such as New Atheism, New Religious Movements and the interaction between religion and politics, science, or art.

Is this the right course for you?

If you have ever wondered why religion continues to shape how many people see, feel, and think about the world, this course will offer different avenues for understanding its vital role for individuals and cultures. Choosing World Religions and Theology will suit you if you have an interest in sources of identity, history and contemporary culture, philosophy and ethics, the role of religious self-understandings and intellectual resources for the current challenges of multi-cultural societies.

Our teaching methods include excursions to museums and religious sites, encounters with “lived religion”, the analysis of epoch-making texts from three millennia, case studies and self-directed research.

Why study World Religions and Theology at Trinity?

Established in Trinity since its foundation in 1592, with its professorships belonging to the oldest in the University, the subject areas have been taught in a non-denominational department since 1980. Our current programme engages with the complex roles of religion in an era of globalisation by combining biblical studies, theology and ethics, and the cultural study of religion.

The department is close to vibrant locations relevant to the programme: the Chester Beatty Library with its world renowned collection of biblical, Islamic and Asian religious manuscripts; Marsh’s Library with its Huguenot heritage of books; local religious centres and other cultural destinations central to the history of religious traditions.

In our small and diverse department, students and staff are able to get to know each other and discuss themes in religion in a spirit of open and co-operative enquiry. Independence and rigorous thinking are crucial reflective capacities that we strive to foster, from small group work, projects, presentations and essays to the choice of your fourth year dissertation subject.

The Department invites internationally acclaimed speakers for public lectures, and it benefits from the activities of a lively student society, the “Theo”, which hosts debates on topical themes.

What will you study?

The programme consists of three strands:

Religious Studies explores religion as an enduring feature of culture and provides the skills and the knowledge to understand how religion affects individuals and societies (Theory of Religion). Drawing on methods from the social and cultural sciences, the cultural study of religion investigates the diversity of religious traditions (World Religions).

Biblical Studies investigates the historical and cultural contexts in which the Bible originated and the intellectual currents with which Early Christianity interacted. Key biblical texts and their histories of interpretation are studied. Students can take a biblical language, equipping them with specific skills required for taught masters and postgraduate research in Biblical Studies.

Theology investigates how key thinkers conceive of God in relation to human reason and freedom, of incarnation and redemption in their significance for reflections on the self, history and human diversity or the relation to science and politics. Ethics studies approaches human agency and responsibility, from the flourishing life in community to principled autonomy and cosmopolitanism.


Three year overview courses are taken jointly by single honour and TSM students: Introduction to World Religions, to Biblical Studies and to Theology. Single honour students also take: Biblical Traditions in Western Art and Culture, and The Qur’an and its History of Reception; Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean, and History of Religions; Introductions to Philosophy and to Theological Ethics.


From second year onwards, students choose their modules (12 in single honour, 6 in TSM). In second year, students can replace one of them by a Broad Curriculum module (see


All students write a thesis of 15,000 words with a supervisor chosen from an area they want to specialise in, and also choose four modules.

For a full list and more detailed information on the modules in all four years, see:

Study abroad

You can spend up to a year on Erasmus exchange at the universities of Leuven, Belgium or Glasgow, Scotland or at other universities open to Trinity students e.g. Berkeley, Toronto, Melbourne, Singapore.

For further information see ‘Study Abroad’ at:


The programme provides students with capacities that are crucial for all professions where an understanding of cultural processes and of the intellectual resources of religious traditions play a role. Our graduates have excelled in many different professions, notably as a University Vice-President, as Advisory Counsel at the Office of the Attorney General, as Barrister and Chair of the Irish Criminal Bar Association, in the Department of Foreign Affairs, as an RTE multimedia journalist, as publishers, university lecturers, museum curator, in foreign aid as Education Officer of the Bishops’ Appeal, as teachers of Religious Education, in international business and insurance, for example as a Catastrophe Analyst, in management positions of migration and of disability support services, in human resources and in health care professions, and as Best Chef at the Metro’s Young British Foodies awards.

Further information

You are most welcome to attend first and second year lectures. Please contact us by email to arrange a visit.

Student profiles: |

Email: | Tel: +353 1 896 1297