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Located in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology brings together biblical studies, theology, ethics, religious studies, international peace studies, and reconciliation as independent but related disciplinary fields. Its undergraduate and postgraduate courses explore encounters between religions and cultures from their roots in antiquity to the present day. They investigate the intellectual and institutional resources developed in historical and current interactions and conflicts and apply them to the challenges and the opportunities societies face in an age of globalisation.

The Department of Religions and Theology offers a non-denominational setting for the study of religions and theology within the humanities. The history of the teaching of the Department’s subject areas goes back to the foundation of the College in 1592. Reconceived in the early 1980s as the School of Hebrew, Biblical and Theological Studies, its founding Chair, the New Testament scholar Professor Sean Freyne, the Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Hebrew, Andrew Mayes, and theologians such as Werner Jeanrond, Gabriel Daly and Vincent MacNamara established its international reputation.

Renamed as the Department of Religions and Theology in 2004, it includes teaching and research in Religious Studies and history of religions, in Asian and African religions, and in Islam, alongside its established teaching and research in Biblical Studies, Theology and Ethics. The studies provided in the Department offer intellectual resources for the current challenges of multi-cultural societies: They offer insights into epoch-shaping encounters within Mediterranean and European history in which biblical traditions have contributed to the transformations of Western self-understanding, and into current developments within world religions and into the theoretical frameworks in which they are interpreted.

The Irish School of Ecumenics, a graduate institute, is known worldwide for its critical pioneering work in the interdisciplinary field of ecumenics, peace and reconciliation, since its foundation in 1970. ISE’s M.Phil. courses in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies; International Peace Studies (both Dublin-based); and in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (Belfast-based); and its Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (Dublin); its M.Litt. and Ph.D. programme (Dublin and Belfast), attract students from diverse cultural, philosophical and  denominational contexts from every continent. ISE’s educational interests span the cross-cutting frontiers of academic, socio-political and interreligious research engagement.

Taught Modules engage with textual, normative and religious aspects of world faiths; Muslim-Christian and Jewish-Christian comparative theology; fundamentalism and religious identity, gender and human rights themes; ethics in international affairs; comparative studies in conflict and peacebuilding (e.g., Ireland, Palestine, Sri Lanka, South Africa). In its extensive Ph.D. programme, students specialise in diverse areas of religion and politics; intercultural theology and interreligious topics; politics of development and peace; non-violent theory and practice; ethics in international relations; post-conflict justice and reconciliation processes; and Visioning 21st Century Ecumenism. ISE graduates are to be found in transformational leadership roles in academic, ecumenical and global institutions and NGOs, worldwide.

The Loyola Institute is dedicated to education and research in theology in the Catholic tradition. This Institute was established in 2011 by the Board of Trinity College Dublin. The establishment of this new Institute means that TCD joins a host of great universities across the UK, Europe, and the United States in this field of study. The core mission of the Loyola Institute is to engage in considered academic reflection on Christian faith, social justice and contemporary culture in the context of the Catholic tradition. The creative intersection of theology, Church and society is envisaged as the central concern of the Institute.

A key aim of the research and teaching in the Institute will be to foster religious understanding and tolerance in an increasingly diverse and complex society especially through dialogue between Christianity and other religions, through ecumenical dialogue, and through dialogue between faith and culture. The Institute will be both a teaching and a research facility aspiring to realise the ideal of the teacher-scholar. Its undergraduate teaching programme of a Single Honors degree in Catholic theological studies begins in September 2013, and a Joint Honors degree (TSM) in Catholic theology in conjunction with another subject will follow. Postgraduate teaching and research programmes, with a particular focus on contemporary issues, will be a strong feature of the academic work of the Institute. In the provision of these programmes complementarities with other cognate areas in TCD will be identified and realised.

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Last updated 2 April 2014 LINDSAYE@tcd.ie (Email).