What is Religion?
Religion plays a significant role in diverse cultural, social and political contexts. Religious world-views, values and symbols play a critical role in shaping cultural norms, traditions and practices. This is the case both in religiously plural contexts, as well as those dominated by particular traditions. The contours of religion are evident not only in the artefacts that transmit a culture’s heritage (such as architecture, visual arts, illuminated manuscripts, literature, etc.), but also in contemporary debates about the evolving identities of societies in a world characterised by religious pluralism.
Students on this course will be engaged with contemporary debates about, for example, the nature and impact of political religion, religion and modernity, religion and gender, religion and violence, religion and human rights, and ethics in politics.
Religion: The course for you?
This course offers you a choice of three possible directions of study after your first year. The first is a broad-based study of Religion and Theology, the second a specialisation in the Cultural Study of Religion, and the third in Christian Theology. Within the Cultural Study of Religion, you have the opportunity to explore the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the religions of Asia and Africa, as well new atheistic and religious movements. If you choose to specialise in Theology, you can investigate the development of Christian self-understanding in a number of different modes, including denominational, multidenominational and ecumenical aspects.
Religion at Trinity
In combining theological study with the study of religion, this degree is unique in Ireland. Trinity’s School of Religion is internationally recognised for its strengths in biblical studies, philosophical and theological ethics, peace studies, historical and systematic theology and religious studies. These strengths ensure that student experience combines in-depth analysis with breadth of subject matter that presents religious traditions in their historical, intellectual, cultural, aesthetic, political and ethical dimensions, as well as examining how religious traditions have interacted, and continue to interact, with the context of their origins and development.
The pathways available are Single Honours, Major with Minor and Joint Honours. There may also be an opportunity to take this subject up as a New Minor Subject from second year.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
This course offers students the opportunity to develop all four of Trinity’s graduate attributes of thinking independently, communicating effectively, developing continuously and acting responsibly. Graduates from our School have entered a wide range of professions, including: law, education (primary and secondary), information technology, pastoral ministry, the civil service, creative arts, publishing, accountancy, as well as continuing on to further research in Ireland and abroad.
Your degree and what you’ll study
In your first year of study, twelve modules help to immerse you in this field of scholarship. The Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament – are introduced in their historical contexts. You will study Judaism, Islam, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, and the Dharmic religions of India. You will be introduced to ethics, philosophy and the study of religion, as well as theology through an engagement with some of their major thinkers, texts and methods. Before moving into your second year, you will be invited to consider the direction that you would like to pursue in your studies over the coming years in each specialism of the course.
Second and third years
Throughout these years, your modules offer an increasingly focused and state-of-the art engagement in your chosen field. Different genres of literature and historical reconstruction are addressed in biblical studies. Theology looks both to the emergence and reception of classical doctrines, as well as to topical issues of religion and science, and theology and social justice. The field of ethics is explored through issues of gender and human rights, bioethics, technology, environment and war and peace. There is an opportunity to study the Qur’an within Islamic and Late Antiquity contexts, and explore the message and heritage of the prophet Muhammad. During these years it is also possible for you to study Hebrew or Greek.
The major accomplishment of your final year is your Capstone project – an individual research project. This is an important achievement of supervised and self-directed research and writing. In addition to the Capstone research project, final year modules offer you the opportunity to engage with current issues of research activity within the School. These areas currently include: religion, war and peace; multiple modernities; theologies of church and Eucharist; the study of ritual; queer theological ethics; religion and the arts; Islamic perceptions of gender. You may also continue to study Greek or Hebrew at an advanced level.
There are QQI/FET routes available for this course. Please see www.cao.ie for details.
Click here for further information on modules/subject.
This degree is also available within the Dual BA Programme between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University.
The range of assessment strategies reflects the goal of enhancing student education through diversity and quality of experience. Some modules are assessed by end-of-semester exams combined with summative essays; others rely exclusively on essays; others require the creation of a portfolio of short assignments; others include in-class tests.
Study abroad and internship opportunities
Students in the School of Religion may avail of opportunities to study abroad in Glasgow University, U.K., or in K.U. Leuven, Belgium. As part of the Year 3 module ‘Theology and Social Justice: Community Engagement in Dublin City’, students are required to undertake a placement with a social justice agency in Dublin.
Do you enjoy:
- Encountering the otherness of religions through their sacred writings, histories and traditions?
- Entering into critical debate in the field of ethics – concerning, for example, sport, media, environment, gender or politics?
- Exploring the various ways in which truth claims are advanced, debated and embodied in arguments, doctrines and institutions?
Study Religion at Trinity College Dublin
This is a presentation by Dr Jacob J. Erickson about studying Religion at Trinity college Dublin.
AwardsB.A. Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
CAO InformationCAO Points 417 (2021) CAO Code TR041
Number of Places8 Places
To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below
Advanced Entry Applications
Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.
What our graduates say
"I have recently completed my undergraduate course in Religion. I chose Trinity for this undergraduate degree programme as it had the particularity of offering courses in the Study of Religion and World Religions, which were my main areas of interest. While these are the areas that I found attractive in the field, I ended up choosing many courses in Theology and Biblical studies as well and they proved to be really enriching and I loved the philosophical and ethical issues that we addressed. I also had the opportunity to take up a language in my second year and I chose Arabic, I have always enjoyed learning languages and this is one of my favourite classes. This is a small course and the department makes each student feel welcome and the lecturers really are amazing. The course is varied and interesting and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about Religion in the modern world but also key debates and challenges in the history of religion."
To find out more about our graduates please refer to the link below.