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Professor Siobhán Garrigan 


Loyola Chair of Theology | Professor in the School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies

t: + 353 1 896 4794

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D. (2001)
Milltown Institute of Philosophy & Theology, Dublin, Ireland.
S.T.M. (1992)
Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, New York City, USA.
B.A.Hons (1990)
Oxford University, England.


Siobhán came to Trinity in January 2014 from the University of Exeter. Prior to that, she worked at Yale University, the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and the Open University (Belfast). She teaches by looking at issues of social justice, using the insights of ritual studies, philosophical theology and systematic theology to respond. By looking at theology's role in social and political difficulty, her research aims to highlight the many ways theology can also foster dialogue across the boundaries of difference, particularly regarding ecumenism, poverty and matters of identity, such as gender and racial discrimination.

Research Interests

Siobhán’s best known book is The Real Peace Process: Worship, Politics and the End of Sectarianism, a study of the work yet to be done to change hearts and minds regarding the Irish-British conflict. Her next two books are: A Theology of Home in a Time of Homelessness, a theoretical response to the practical experience of contemporary homelessness, and Theology and Song, a study of the sonic theologies of Irish traditional music. She supervises research in critical theory and theology; sacramental theology; theology and the arts; philosophical theology as it relates to contemporary issues; liturgical theology; and systematic theology -- particularly as it relates to gender, racialisation, class, sexuality and place.



A Theology of Home in a Time of Homeless (forthcoming)

Turn on the television and you are bombarded with programmes on finding, designing, building, buying, restoring or furnishing your home. Meanwhile, the earth is radically polluted and millions of people worldwide are refugees. What is “home” in Christian theology and how might a theology of home point to a way out of the twin poles of consumerism and homelessness in the contemporary west?

The Real Peace Process: Worship, Politics and the End of Sectarianism (London: Taylor and Francis, 2010)

Based on eight years’ fieldwork in Protestant and Catholic churches, this book argues that ‘soft’ sectarianism is alive and well in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and that Christian worship actively contributes to the maintenance of it; it then suggests ways that it could, instead, help create peace.

Beyond Ritual: Sacramental Theology after Habermas (Abingdon, Oxon: Ashgate, 2004)

In this book, I use Habermas’s idea that all experience is intersubjective before it is subjective to translate for our age the theological notion of sacramentality. In doing so, I also query current theological method, arguing for it to be rooted in a more rigorous interpretation of human religious practices and experiences.

Edited Volumes:        

Common Worship in Theological Education (Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2009), co-editor: Todd Johnson

This book argues that the study of Theology ought to pay greater attention to ritual action in general and to common worship in particular. Its strength is an unusually diverse group of contributors, from both evangelical and liberal wings of the Christian churches, as well as from differing denominational sources.

LITURGY: New and Borrowed Rites 23: 1 (2008), co-editor: Janet R. Walton.

This special edition of the journal was dedicated to exploring emerging forms of ritualisation in relation to social concerns, especially poverty. As such, it drew together contributions from poets and visual artists as well as theologians and ritual critics to investigate the relationship of tradition and innovation, with particular attention to how practices of improvisation are taught and supported.

 Articles (peer reviewed): 

‘Loneliness: Theology’s Last Taboo?’ Milltown Studies 76:1 (Winter 2015), pp.83-99

‘Irish Theology as White Theology: A Case of Mistaken Identity?’, Modern Theology 30:2 (April 2014), pp.193–218.

‘A New Model for Ecumenical Worship’, Studia Liturgica 43:1 (December 2013), pp.32–53.

‘When Bodies Met Galleries: How Performance Art Changed the Art World’s View of Painting’, Journal of Modernism/Modernity 20:3 (September 2013), pp.585–588.

‘Queer Worship: Theology and Queer Theory in Liturgical Practice’, Theology and Sexuality 52:3 (2009), pp.211–230.

‘A Working Theology of The New’, LITURGY 23:1(2008), pp.5–13.

‘Intellectuals in the Public Sphere: Habermas, Theology and Worship’, The Irish Review 32 (Winter 2004), pp.39–52.

Book Chapters:                      

‘The Hermeneutics of Intersubjectivity: A Study of Theologies of Homelessness’ in Stephan van Erp, Martin Poulsom and Lieven Boeve, eds., Grace, Governance and Globalization – Theology and Public Life (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), pp.62–76.

‘A Flagging Peace’ in Cláudio Carvalhaes, Liturgy in Post-colonial Perspectives, (New York–Palgrave, 2015), pp.215 – 222

 ‘The Ethics of Liturgy’ in Juliette Day and Ben Gordon-Taylor, eds., The Alcuin Guide to the Study of Liturgy and Worship (London: SPCK, 2013).

‘Forgetting without Forgiving: The State of the Peace in Ireland, North and South’ in Andrea Bieler and Hans-Martin Guttman, eds., After Violence: Religion, Trauma and Reconciliation (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2011), pp.167-179.

‘Is Ecumenical Worship a Serious Business?’ in Simon Jones and Melanie Ross, The Serious Business of Worship (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2010), pp.159–170.

‘Crediting Worship: Multicultural Chapels in the University Curriculum’ in Siobhán Garrigan and Todd Johnson, Common Worship in Theological Education (Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2009), pp.179­–199.

‘Teresa of Avila’ in Ian Markham, ed., The Blackwells Companion to the Theologians (Oxford: Blackwells, 2009), pp.375–389

 ‘Planning the Liturgy’ and ‘A Living Liturgy’ in E. Duffy and E. Lyons, eds., Celebrating the Triduum (Dublin: Columba Press, 1999).

Undergraduate Teaching at Trinity

JS Theology and Social Justice; Community Engagement in Dublin City
JF Liturgical Theology
SF Christology and Eschatology
SF The Theology of Classic Spiritualities
SS Advanced topics in Theology