Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time / 2 years part-time


Course Overview

The M.Phil. in Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations is an interdisciplinary course that explores the inherent contextuality and pluralism of theological reflection, and especially their implications for inter- and intra-faith relations. ‘Faith’ here is understood broadly, drawing from a wide range of religions and spiritualities, some traditional and institutionally structured, others more experimental and experiential.

Students attend to the practical and theoretical possibilities of engaging — in depth and in context — with the challenging theological praxis of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. By offering a wide range of critically reflective faith perspectives from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, this Masters programme blends together the themes of liberation theologies, with those of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.

There are three main strands in the course:

  1. Religions, politics, ethics and pluralism in multiple contexts (e.g. Global South and Global North) with a particular focus on religion and secularity; religion and human rights; religion, conflict and peace; religion and race, caste, gender, sexualities; and religion and postcolonial/decolonial critique.
  2. Ecumenical dialogue, with a particular focus on how ecclesial communities reimagine formerly antagonistic relationships as part of a repentant reconfiguration of postcolonial and postimperial religious identities.
  3. Liberationist and interreligious theologies that blend interfaith dialogue with the themes of justice, peace, reconciliation and the integrity of creation involving Buddhist-Christian, Buddhist- Muslim, Hindu-Muslim, Christian-Muslim and Jewish-Christian and indigenous traditions.

Is This Course For Me?

The M.Phil. in Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations is designed for those wanting to explore theological issues through the lens of inter- and intra-faith relations.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this course can go on to further education and academic research. Graduates will learn research skills, as well as analytic, written, and verbal communication skills that are highly valued and effective in a great variety of careers.

Course Structure

Students must take six taught modules (6 x 10 ECTS), comprising one core module (Research and Methods) and five elective modules, and write a dissertation (30 ECTS).

Course Content

Modules include: Research and Methods in Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations; Religions, Politics and Ethics in a Pluralist World; Reimagining Ecumenical Theology: Dialogue and Difference; Nature, Grace and Place: Theology, Maps and Territories; Liberationist and Interreligious Theologies; Issues in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue; Muslim God, Christian God: Islam and Muslim-Christian Comparative Theology; Engaging Religious Fundamentalism; Religions, Conflict and Peace in International Relations; Northern Ireland: Religion, Conflict and the Politics of Peace.

Students on this course may also apply to take a module from one of the other Master's courses within the School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies: International Peace Studies; Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation; and Christian Theology.

Lecturers draw on a wide range of critically engaging scholarly perspectives, including those of contextual, ecumenical and interreligious theologies; liberation/feminist/queer/peace theologies; historical theology and theological anthropology; Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish studies; critical theories (postcolonial and postmodern); politics; sociology; and ethics.

The course also offers fieldwork visits to different places of worship in Dublin, a research trip to Belfast, and to the World Council of Churches in Geneva (which may be combined with the International Peace Studies visit to the United Nations). A range of international conferences will be made available for students who wish to participate and become familiar with established and emerging scholars in the field.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Study Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.) at Trinity

This video is an introduction to the postgraduate programmes in the disciplines of Religion and Peace Studies offered in the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Coordinator

Professor Gillian Wylie

Closing Date

31st July 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should normally have an Honours degree at second-class level, or GPA 3.2 (or above). Students not meeting these criteria may be considered at the discretion of the Dean of Graduate Studies under exceptional circumstances.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 8964772


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

Studying this programme has been a profoundly enriching experience. The course draws from the intersection between faith, culture and politics in a broad variety of contexts, and is delivered with passion and the highest academic and ethical standards. During my time on the course, each module was delivered in reference to the most pressing and up to date global issues, such as anti-racism work, gender equality, environmentalism and post-colonial issues. I was inspired throughout my studies by the ways in which spirituality can empower change.

Alice Vignoles-Russell