1st Edition

Theology and the University

Edited By Fáinche Ryan, Dirk Ansorge, Josef Quitterer Copyright 2024

    Theology and the University presents a compelling argument as to why theology still matters. It considers how theology has been marginalised in the academy and in public life, arguing that doing so has serious repercussions for the integrity of the academic study of religion.

    The chapters in this book demonstrate how theology, as the only discipline which represents religion from within, provides insight into aspects of religion which are hidden from the social sciences. Against a backdrop of heated debates on the role of the humanities in the university, the book highlights the specific contribution of theological education and research to the work of a university, providing essential information for academic and social/political decision-making. Whilst the book has an emphasis on the Catholic tradition, it explores the prospect of fruitful complementarity and interdisciplinarity both with secularised studies of religion, and other disciplines in the university, such as literature, philosophy, and the social sciences.

    This book provides orientation for decision-makers, particularly those concerned with the broader question of humanities in the university; students in their choice of study; those interested in the wellbeing of today’s universities; and ecclesial authorities seeking to form leaders capable of intelligent responses to the issues of contemporary society. It is a must read for all researchers of theology, as well as anyone interested in the role of the humanities more broadly.

    Part 1 The Contested Role of the Contemporary University

    1. Higher Education as a Road to Somewhere

    Sharon Rider

    2. The University: A Refuge of Truth and Truthfulness

    Fáinche Ryan

    3. Theology between the University and the Church as a "Field Hospital"

    Massimo Faggioli

    Part 2 Multilocational Perspectives on Theology and the University

    4. Mutual Benefit: Arguments in Favour of the Incorporation of Catholic Theology into Secular Universities

    Dirk Ansorge

    5. Academic Catholic Theology in Italy

    Marcello Neri

    6. Theology and Religious Studies in France

    Marie-Jo Thiel

    7. The "Problem" of Theology in the University? Irish Compromises and Solutions

    Ethna Regan

    Part 3 Testing "Plurality within Unity"

    8. The Genetic Code of Catholic Theology: "Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria"

    Serge-Thomas Bonino

    9. The University and the Relationship between Theology and the "Concert of Sciences"

    Robert J. Woźniak

    10. Vetera novis augere: New Tasks for Theology

    Michael A. Conway

    11. "Words of Power": The Lively Dialogue between Theology and Literature

    Michael Kirwan

    Part 4 Theology in University: Dialogues at the Crossroads

    12. Assuming True Beliefs: The Contribution of Theology to a Healthy University

    Josef Quitterer

    13. Recontextualising Theology at the University in Europe

    Lieven Boeve

    14. The University as a Forum for a Discussion of Hope: The Relevance of Theology

    Cornelius Casey



    Fáinche Ryan, Associate Professor in Systematic Theology, was director of the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland from 2016 to 2020.

    Dirk Ansorge holds the Chair of Dogmatic Theology and History of Dogma at Sankt Georgen College of Philosophy and Theology, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

    Josef Quitterer was Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Innsbruck, Austria from 2017 to 2021.