The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theology and Religious Studies at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Religion and Theology is a diverse area within the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, both in terms of topics that we investigate, and the methods that we use to study those topics. This means that students looking to pursue a higher degree in areas related to religion and theology have a great deal of choice when it comes to avenues of research, and the different sorts of supervisors that are available to support them.

Most broadly, our expertise has two foci. First, we are interested in addressing doctrinal questions within theology – for example, the nature of scripture or the relationship between God and creation – using a variety of resources. These include theological resources like the work of Thomas Aquinas, or resources from other disciplines such as philosophy. Second, we are also focused on using the resources of religious traditions, mostly Christian traditions for the moment, to develop constructive responses to topics of concern in the world more broadly, including concerns about the environment and how to engage in politics. In terms of methodology or how we go about our investigations, our approach could be described as thinking with and beyond religion (as opposed to just thinking about it); or, put another way, constructive and critical reflection on religious thought and practice.

In the program, we have expertise to supervise projects on a variety of topics that involve both close readings of texts in Christian doctrine, and/or creating a conversation between Christian sources and theoretical resources from other fields, particularly philosophy, political theory, sociology/ethnography, and the arts.

We have three ongoing research projects that welcome PhD students

  • The Redeeming Autonomy Project is an ongoing research project investigating the idea of rational self-government beyond its assumed secular framework.
  • Theologies of Catholicity Research Project (2022-26) is its preliminary phase and will be investigating concepts of catholicity in relation to a variety of Christian doctrines.
  • The Research Centre for Studies of the Second Vatican Council, which is seeking to understand the significance of this transformative event in Catholic history and its implications and reception from multiple perspectives.

In addition to these projects, some of the topical strengths of our individual researchers include:

  • The theology of Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Bonaventure, Lonergan
  • Christian Mysticism
  • Theologies of Scripture
  • Theological Genealogies of Modernity
  • Theories of atheism and theories of secularism
  • Theology in conversation with various streams of continental philosophy including phenomenology, post-structuralism, and hermeneutics
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Historical Theology, particularly medieval and early modern, as well as Nineteenth and Twentieth Century German theology
  • Political Theology
  • Religion and Ecology/Environmental Ethics
  • Feminist Theology
  • Theology and the Arts
  • Global Christianity
  • Intercultural Theology
  • Popular Religion

This list is not exhaustive. For more information about our research areas, we encourage you consult the profiles of the researchers in the Religion and Theology area. Information about the application process is also available. For further inquiries, please contact the Program Director:

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