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Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course Description

Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies integrates a variety of theological and other disciplines in order to explore significant and complex relationships within and between religious communities and their traditions. These fields of study attend closely to the connections and tensions experienced as the religions encounter alternative social, political and cultural resources of meaning and identity. This course focuses on the practical and theoretical possibilities posed by intercultural dialogue, and on the challenges of sustaining communities in which the praxis of peace and reconciliation with others is given concrete embodiment.

A variety of modules is offered each year, drawn from the list below.  A module on Research and Methods is compulsory; students select a further 5 modules for assessment and write a dissertation.


  • Authority, Tradition, Experience: Ecumenics as Intercultural Theology
  • World Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue
  • Comparative Theology:  Meaning and Practice
  • Religions and Ethics in a Pluralist World
  • Nature, Grace and the Triune God
  • NGOs in Theory and Practice
  • Developing Doctrine: Identity and Change in Christian Tradition
  • Interpreting Ecumenical Ecclesiology
  • An Ecumenics of Loss: Religion, Modernity and Reconciliation
  • Creation, Cosmology and Ecotheology
  • Engaging Religious Fundamentalism
  • Translating God(s)
  • Christian Seeds in Indic Soil: Christianity in South Asia
  • The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christianity in the World of Islam
  • On Being Human: Theological Anthropology in Cross-cultural Perspective
  • The Many Faces of Jesus: Christology and Cultures
  • Comparative/Interreligious Ethics
  • Cross-cultural Ministry and Interreligious Encounter
  • Muslim God, Christian God: Islam and Muslim-Christian Comparative Theology
  • Hindu God, Christian God: Hinduism and Hindu-Christian Comparative Theology
  • Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations
  • Issues in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
  • Reconciliation in Northern Ireland Religion
  • Religions, Conflict and Peace in International Relations

Modules may change from year to year.

Teaching takes place in Dublin over two terms. A one term, non-degree course of study is available which is ideal for those on sabbatical, or who prefer a shorter period of study. There is also the option of attending single modules.  Modules from the M.Phil. in International Peace Studies, the M.Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and the M.Phil. in Christian Theology are also open to students on the M.Phil. in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies. Students seeking to be assessed for their work on a module in one of the other courses must first secure the permission of the relevant course coordinators. Students may take up to two modules from the other courses.

Dissertation: A research dissertation (15,000 – 20,000 words) to be supervised by an appropriate member of staff and to be submitted in August. Students who complete the taught element of the programme but not the dissertation may be eligible for the postgraduate diploma.

Sarah B. Garlington, (PhD, MPhil, MSSW - Assistant Professor, Social Work Program - Ohio University)

"Before starting this course, I worked with various populations as a social worker and completed my Master’s in Social Work at the University of Tennessee. As a social worker, I experienced conflict in communities based on values and religious differences, and I engaged in interfaith work to address social welfare problems. I grew up in rural southern Appalachia where much of the population identified as Evangelical Christians, and these religious affiliations and beliefs felt like defining factors in community relationships in this very economically marginalized region. I came to TCD with a desire to understand how religion defines communities, and in particular how (at the time) religious extremism might be understood as more than a set of confining, authoritarian beliefs. I also was seeking a more theoretical (and theological) context for my social work interests. Through the program and the support of the faculty, I was able to build a more solid foundation of social critical analysis that has structured my research and ongoing social work practice (doctoral and post). I developed stronger writing skills through the essay assignments, sharper analysis skills through class discussions and lectures, and a more nuanced worldview through exposure to speakers, faculty, other students, and extra-curricular activities. I especially benefited from access to Peace Studies modules to supplement my course work and from the supportive relationships with faculty. My success in the doctoral program at Boston University and ongoing research at Ohio University is rooted in the foundation of my work at ISE"

Course Details


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Course Coordinator

Prof. Jude Lal Fernando

Next Intake

September 2020

Closing Date

14 August 2020

Applicants should normally have an honors degree at second class level or GPA 3.2 or above. Students not meeting these criteria may exceptionally be considered at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Studies.


Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

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