Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Focusing on philosophy and religious thought and practice from antiquity to the present day, the IRCI promotes collaborative research on religion and philosophy from multiple disciplinary perspectives in an international context.

World-leading research

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Our researchers explore the interrelationships that religion and philosophy have with their cultural and intellectual contexts, and in so doing contribute to contemporary theological, philosophical, ethical, and political debates. The institute’s aim is to advance understanding of our world and to imagine ways to improve it.

Our world-leading research environment attracts international scholars and students from across disciplines such as philosophy, classics, history, literature, religion, and theology. We are the fastest-growing centre for the study of the premodern world with rapidly expanding programs in philosophy, medieval and early modern studies, new testament, and early Christianity.

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Rome seminars

Scholars from around the world unite at our Rome Campus for the IRCI seminar series each year. These seminars are an opportunity for researchers to collaborate and discuss critical questions to advance research in philosophy, religion, and theology.

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Featured projects

our research institutes IRCI featured featured projects modes of knowing

Modes of knowing

We aim to study ‘modes of knowing’ constructed by Greek, Latin and Syriac Christians 100-700 CE in relation to contemporary theological, philosophical, medical and rhetorical discourses, social practices (asceticism, pilgrimage, liturgies), imperial and institutional power structures, and the material world of early Christianity (relics, sacred texts). 

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Texts, traditions, and identities

The project will address the question: How did the earliest Christian communities employ texts and traditions ascribed to a sacred past to negotiate issues relating to their identity – who they were, why they existed, how they differed from others?

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our research institutes IRCI featured featured projects at heismand christianity

Atheism and Christianity

An interdisciplinary team will explore the intersections between atheism and Christianity in discourse, experience (drawing upon phenomenology), and politics. The project aims to clarify what atheism and Christianity might learn from each other, and to develop a new way of thinking about the place of religion in contemporary society.

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our research institutes IRCI featured featured projects at heismand christianity morald is agreements

Moral disagreements

Widespread disagreement about moral issues is a salient feature of moral thought and discourse in contemporary pluralistic societies. This project explores the metaphysical, epistemological, and practical implications of moral disagreement and whether deep and fundamental moral disagreements can be overcome.

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Our people

Our global and multidisciplinary team of scholars are experts in the fields of philosophy, religion, and theology.

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We welcome aspiring researchers considering higher degrees in the fields of theology, religion, philosophy, history, and literature.

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ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Level 4, 250 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.

Mailing address

Locked Bag 4115 MDC
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065.