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History of academic units

Department of Religions and Theology

Theology has been taught in Trinity College since its foundation, and the Chair dedicated to this subject is one of the oldest in College. Originally orientated towards the education of future clergy of the Church of Ireland, the Department was established as the non-denominational School of Hebrew, Biblical and Theological Studies in the early 1980s, offering its courses both to Arts/Humanities students and to ordinands. These links are continued in its teaching contribution, alongside colleagues in the Confederal School, to the Masters in Theological Studies. Renamed as the Department of Religions and Theology in 2004, the BA degree it offers is in World Religions and Theology.

Irish School of Ecumenics

The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) was founded by Michael Hurley S.J., under a Trust in 1970, bringing the academic discipline of ecumenics to bear on the changing historical and theological realities of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and on the interaction of the academy, faith communities and the public and global spheres. As the name suggests,'ecumenics' points to theological, political and ethical research, praxis and relationships within the 'whole inhabited earth'. The ISE came into Trinity in 2001 as a multi-disciplinary, cross-border graduate school committed to scholarly education at the intersection of theology, politics and social research, both theoretical and practical.

The integration of the Irish School of Ecumenics into the College extended the areas of teaching, learning and research to include the multidisciplinary studies of Ecumenics and International Peace and Reconciliation Studies.

Loyola Institute

In 2012, on the basis of a legal agreement between a number of Catholic religious congregations and Trinity College Dublin, the Loyola Institute was established to provide education and research in Theology in the Catholic tradition at TCD. With its core mission, to engage in considered academic reflection on Christian faith, social justice and contemporary culture in the context of the Catholic tradition.

While the Institute's curriculum is rooted in the Catholic tradition, given the changing face of religion in contemporary Ireland, and the diversity of theologies in the Irish Christian tradition, it is pursued in dialogue with other traditions and in collaboration with the other schools and institutes in TCD. Key aims of the Institute are to foster religious understanding and tolerance in an increasingly diverse and complex society and the promotion of social justice.


Last updated 19 March 2013 LINDSAYE@tcd.ie (Email).