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Some Images about Religion and Theology

Some Background

The study of religions has never been more relevant than it is in today’s globalised world. If you are interested in the sources of distinct religions and cultures, their histories of thought and ethics, their encounters and  transformations, you will thrive in this course.

The history of the teaching of the Department’s subject areas goes back to the foundation of the College. Originally dedicated to the education of future clergy of the Church of Ireland, it was established as the non-denominational School of Hebrew, Biblical and Theological Studies in the early 1980s, teaching both Arts/Humanities students and ordinands for the Church of Ireland. Its founding Chair, the New Testament scholar Professor Seán 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.

What do we do?

We offer programmes at undergraduate level, supervise postgraduate research, run extramural courses, welcome visiting international students and scholars every year and engage in research at an international level.


Would you like to know more?

See our presentation for Open Day 2012 (PDF 719 kB)

Where are we?

The Department of Religions and Theology is located on the 5th floor of a modern building – the Arts Building – within the Trinity College campus in the centre of Dublin city.

Overseas Students

Situated as it is in the heart of Ireland’s lively capital city and within easy and cheap reach of the UK and mainland Europe, Trinity College annually attracts undergraduates from Britain, Europe and the rest of the world, who come to learn and expand their cultural horizons in the environment of an international student body.  The Department of Religions and Theology is pleased to be one of the departments in which overseas students choose to study.


As a student in the Department of Religions and Theology, at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, you will have the full facilities of Trinity College at your disposal, including its copyright library, the largest in Ireland, containing over four million books.  Since 1801 the Library has had the right to claim a copy of all British and Irish publications.

One of the College Treasures, housed in Trinity's Arts and Social Sciences Building, is the Weingreen Museum of Biblical Antiquities. It is located in Room 5036 on the 5th level of the building.  The museum exists to further scholarly research and teaching, and appointments can be made to visit it.

In addition, Dublin enjoys two major assets of interest to those conducting research in religions and theology.  The first is the Chester Beatty Library.  Voted European Museum of the Year in 2002, this is home to an outstanding collection of early Christian and Islamic manuscripts, including some of the earliest texts of the Bible.  Its reference library contains some 12,000 volumes on subjects that include Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.  Among its permanent exhibitions is a ‘Sacred Traditions’ gallery.  It also offers a microfilming service.

The second local asset is Marsh’s Library.  Built in 1701, this was Ireland’s first public library and it comprises 25,000 volumes relating to the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.  These include a large collection of works on theology, religious controversy, liturgy and church history, as well as missals, breviaries, books of hours of the Sarum use, Bibles printed in almost every language, rabbinical material and Latin Judaica.


Last updated 23 February 2018 (Email).