Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Dr Jude Lal Fernando

Coordinator Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies



Contact details
Direct Tel: +353. (01) 1 896 4785
General Tel: +353 (0) 1 896 4770, Ext. 4785

Dr. Jude Lal Fernando is Assistant Professor in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin. He brings praxis-based experience to the academic context in the fields of interreligious studies and international peace studies. His main research interests are religion, peace, and conflict, with a specific focus on the role of interreligious dialogue in peace-building, and ethno-nationalisms and geopolitics, focusing on Sri Lanka in particular, and South Asia more generally.

He has authored two books and his research has been published as journal articles and book chapters, presented at international conferences in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Some of these have been translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Prior to his current appointment Dr. Fernando held a five-year research fellowship (2008-2013), conducting a comparative analysis of Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka, and examining issues in interreligious dialogue, and the emerging currents of globalisation in Europe and Asia. This fellowship was funded by the three institutes in which he teaches - The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE Trust), Trinity College, Carlow College, and The Priory Institute, Tallaght, Ireland.

As a post-graduate researcher at the Irish School of Ecumenics, his M.Phil. thesis received the James Haire Prize for best dissertation in 2004-2005, and was subsequently published as a monograph under the title A Paradigm for a Peace Movement: Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr. He was awarded a post-graduate scholarship from Trinity College Dublin to continue his studies, and his doctoral research on Dynamics of Essentialist Representations of Nationhood and the Politics of Interpretation: The Role of Religion in the Making and Unmaking of the Sri Lankan ‘Nation’ State, (Trinity College Dublin: 2008) has been published (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2013).

He is currently engaged in writing a book entitled A Comparative Analysis: Geo-Politics of Peace and Conflict in Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland. Dr. Fernando’s teaching duties comprise modules and individual lectures, across the four post-graduate programmes at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin both in Dublin (International Peace Studies, Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies, and Conflict and Dispute Resolution) and Belfast (Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation).

Since 2010, he has taught Peace and Conflict in South Asia at Dublin City University, and has lectured at Carlow College since 2007, with modules on World Religions; Primal Traditions; Interfaith Dialogue; and Religion, Peace, and Conflict. He has also lectured at The Priory Institute since 2006 on a range of theological modules as part of the undergraduate degree programme ‘Theology for Today’. He has taught Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin, during the 2008-2009 academic year.

He has been a member of Tulana, the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue and Research in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and has been involved in Buddhist-Hindu-Christian-Muslim dialogue under the mentorship of renowned Asian scholar, Professor Aloysius Pieris. Dr. Fernando is a founding member of two peace-building community-based journals, Kithusara (in Sinhala) and Oliyai Nokki (in Tamil) which explored potential in religions for a just peace. He was the national coordinator of the All-Ceylon Fisherfolk Trade Union, and a member of the Hiru Group, raising public awareness in Sri Lanka regarding the need for a negotiated political settlement to the ethno-nationalist conflict. In Ireland, Dr. Fernando coordinates the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka, which explores the lessons of the Irish peace process for Sri Lanka. He was also co-coordinator of the two sessions of the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka, held at Trinity College Dublin in January 2010 and in Bremen in December 2013.

Areas of expertise
Issues in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue; Religion, the Public Sphere, and Peace-Building; Geo-Politics and Identity Politics (ethno-nationalisms); and Comparative Analysis of Peace and Conflict in Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland.

Modules taught
Issues in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
Ethics, Social Theory, and Ecumenical Theology
Peace and Conflict in South Asia
Armed Conflict, Peace-Building, and Development
Religion and Ethics in a Pluralist World

Select Publications
Religion, Conflict and Peace in Sri Lanka: The Politics of Interpretation of Nationhoods, Berlin, LIT Verlag, 2013.

‘Negotiated Peace vs. Victor’s Peace: The Geopolitics of Peace and Conflict in Sri Lanka’, in Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 2014.

‘Peace and Conflict in Asian Societies: Cases of Christian Participation’, in Handbook of Christianity in Asia, 2014.

Last updated 22 September 2016 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).