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Religious Studies & Theology Research

Early Modern Bible

Frontispiece of an Early Modern Bible imprint from the Cardiff Rare Books Collection

The Department of Religious Studies & Theology is a leading centre in the UK for research and impact. It was ranked among the top ten UK departments in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF). 75% of its research and 90% of its research environment are classed as internationally excellent or world-leading. Every single staff member is participating in this success as the Department's research community is structured in research groups and research centres which draw together specialists working in different areas and disciplines.

Research Groups

Religion in Late Antiquity

The Religion in Late Antiquity research group is dedicated to the study of Christianity in Late Antiquity, in the Mediterranean and the Near East. Its interests include the interaction of Christianity with Judaism, Graeco-Roman (‘pagan’) religions and early Islam, and the emergence of the Latin (‘western’) Christian traditions.

History of Asian Religions

This group is dedicated to research in Asian religion and culture, in particular Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Traditions. Much of its work involves the translation, exegesis, and dissemination, in various ways, of classical texts, and thus draws directly on the linguistic expertise which is one of the group's particular strengths (covering Sanskrit, Vedic, Epic and Classical, Pali, the Prakrits, Tibetan, Classical Chinese and Japanese as well as a selection of medieval and modern Indian vernaculars).

Religion in Contemporary Societies

The key concerns of this group are with religion in the contemporary world, particularly the UK and South Asia, and including both Christianity and other modern religions (especially Islam and Buddhism). The group includes three centres and sub-groups (ISLAM-UK, BAHAR and Chaplaincy Centre), nine academic and research staff in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology and four in the two affiliated Colleges, and several large externally-funded research projects.

Body, Health and Religion (BAHAR)

This Research Group is a sub-group within the Religion in Contemporary Societies group. Its research covers a number of areas relating to the body as a physical, but also emotional, affective and cognitive entity, and the embodied self, processes of healing and self-cultivation, and the role of religion and the spiritual dimension in relation to these.

Research Centres

Centre for Late Antique Religion & Culture (CLARC)

This centre promotes and supports the study of late antique religion and culture from the late Hellenistic Period to the early Middle Ages, also in relation to earlier and later periods, in particular Classical Antiquity and the modern world.

Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA)

This centre is designed to facilitate research and the communication of research findings to the widest possible public. It is made up of specialists in the languages and cultures of Asia who work individually and collaboratively to produce new knowledge about religion and society in that region.

Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK (Islam-UK)

This Centre aims to promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam and the life of Muslim communities in the UK. We specialise in the inter-disciplinary study of Islam and Muslims, with a particular emphasis on sociological and anthropological methodology.

Centre for Chaplaincy Studies

The mission of this Centre is to study and research the diverse practice of chaplaincy and the issues it raises, in order to better support and deliver chaplains' education and professional development, and to communicate the significance of chaplaincy to an international audience.

Research Projects

Research Degrees

The Department of Religious Studies and Theology is a leading centre of research within the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Our staff supervise MPhil and PhD students in a wide range of areas within Religious and Theological Studies. Research students are working in any of the above described research areas and are part of a vibrant research student community within the School.