Research in Theology and Religious Studies
There is an august and long-established tradition of research into Theology (and latterly Religious Studies) at the University of Glasgow, beginning with the University’s foundation in 1451. Today researchers continue to build on Glasgow’s reputation for excellence in traditional fields such as Systematic Theology, Hermeneutics, Ecclesiology, Church History, Catholic Moral Theology and Biblical Studies, while also leading the redefinition of the discipline(s) from inside and outside these fields. Researchers also work in areas such as Islam, Judaism and South Asian ‘Religions’. More than this, our emphasis is global and interdisciplinary. Our approaches are diverse: some researchers work as theologians; others as cultural theorists, philosophers, sociologists, historians or historians of ideas. A sample of recent research projects include colonialism and the construction of the ‘Orient’; theology and Scottish nationalism; the Jewish Seder and imagined landscapes; the German Reformation; Sufism; literature, theology and romance; Paul in contemporary political philosophy; the commodification of ‘spirituality’; Gordon Brown’s Presbyterianism; asceticism and the ‘sacred desert’; Ayatyollah Khomeini’s debt to mysticism; sectarianism and conflict resolution; medical ethics; religion and technology; love and eschatology; and the use of ‘Judeo-Christian’ scriptures in the interpretation of the ‘New World’.
Our research reputation has been recognised by external funding from the British Academy, the British Institute of Persian Studies, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the European Science Foundation, the Rothschild Foundation, the Scottish and British Research Councils and Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Templeton Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (US).
We have strong interdisciplinary research links with the other subjects in the School of Critical Studies as well as in and beyond the College of Arts. Recent collaborations have involved English and Scottish Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Law, Education, Philosophy, Medical Humanities and different Glasgow Museums. Both staff and postgraduate students have been responsible for a range of externally-funded cross-disciplinary events at the University of Glasgow. These include Rewriting the Bible: Devotion, Diatribe and Dialogue (2011); Love and Law in Islam and Christianity (2010); Paul, Political Fidelity and the Philosophy of Alain Badiou (2009); and Memory, Mourning and Landscape (2008).
While we are strongly committed to our local and national context(s), Glasgow is also an international hub for research. We have collaborative projects and research networks with a wide range of institutions, from Beijing to Copenhagen, Berlin to Michigan or Belarus. Current PhD students come from a range of countries including Iran, Ireland, Uganda, Sweden, China and the USA. Staff are editors/editorial board members of a range of major national and international journals including the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies; the Journal of Biblical Literature; Literature and Theology; Biblical Interpretation; Political Theology; Feminist Theology; The Bible and Critical Theory; Postscripts: Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds. We are the base for the major international collection Theory/Religion/Critique (Columbia University Press: 2013). Collectively, we manage a number of sections and groups at the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature annual and international meetings and the European Association of Biblical Studies. We also inaugurated the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture (associated with our Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts) and the International Association for Catholic Social Thought.
We have a long tradition of PhD research. We have currently have one of the largest and most international constituencies of doctoral students in the College of Arts. Many of these (and also occasionally undergraduates) are publishing in major journals prior to the submission of their PhD.
We have recently launched a new Masters programme in Religion, Theology and Culture and the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology.