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Our Disciplines: Religious Studies

From textual, historical and philosophical analysis to engaging with the major ethical challenges of our day, our interdisciplinary researchers in Religious Studies explore the meaning and significance of religions, theologies, and inter-religious studies in many global contexts.

Researchers in the discipline of Religious Studies at Trinity explore the meaning and significance of religion in different contexts across the world. Our researchers deploy a range of methods in the study of religion including textual, historical, philosophical, social and cultural analysis in order to understand the many different ways in which religions shape our societies, past and present. Some are concerned with the textual, doctrinal and cultural aspects of religion, including themes of God’s existence and agency, human freedom, and of lived religion. Others are focused on religion’s ethical and political impacts. Our ethicists are particularly concerned with how religious traditions engage with the major ethical challenges of our day including climate justice, sex and gender, human rights and the common good.

Researchers in the School have expertise in the study of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, both in their historical dimensions and in their contemporary manifestations. We research the origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, drawing on archaeology and ancient texts as windows to the religious pasts that continue to shape the civilizations of today. These historical concerns are complemented by colleagues whose research is focused on contextual, critical and constructivist theologies, including feminist postcolonial, and decolonial theologies. In addition to their expertise in specific religious traditions, many colleagues are concerned with the encounters between different religions in different historical periods, as well as with ecumenical theologies and interreligious studies.

Our discipline is also engaged in interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of themes related to the range of interests in the School including peacebuilding, conflict resolution and reconciliation; the role of religion in violence and peace; the international politics of human trafficking; geopolitics and identity politics; theological engagement with religious fundamentalism, and truth, memory and justice in post-conflict societies.