Theology and Religion

Theology and Religion at Exeter is among the most challenging and stimulating subjects you can study. Religion is a major factor shaping the world in which we live and all religions raise ethical and philosophical questions which are among the most basic and important we face as human beings. Is there a meaning and purpose to human existence? Is there a God or Gods? How should we understand good and evil? On what grounds do we decide what is right or wrong in connection with war and peace, birth and death, sex, and the environment? And can we understand the tensions in Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Northern Ireland more fully if we understand the religious traditions that often separate communities from one another?

Studying Theology and Religion at Exeter gives you the opportunity to wrestle with these questions in depth, in a disciplined and rigorous way. We offer a demanding and rewarding programme enabling you to develop a wide range of skills which will stretch your intellectual abilities to the full. You’ll work as a historian, a literary critic and a philosopher, all essential skills that you’ll need as a theologian and which equip you well for a wide range of future careers.

Exeter’s department of Theology and Religion is a small and very friendly one, comprising a lively and dynamic team of scholars of Christian theology, history and ethics, philosophy of religion and biblical studies. Although we pride ourselves on the quality of our undergraduate programmes, we never stop trying to improve. Our highly qualified staff are at the forefront of innovative research. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008, 85% of our work was recognised as being of international quality and 50% was rated as world leading or internationally excellent. This research feeds directly into your undergraduate studies, ensuring that what you are taught is cutting-edge and relevant to contemporary society. Research interests and teaching expertise span a wide range of subject areas. Our particular research and teaching strengths follow four main themes: religion past and present; philosophy of religion and ethics; biblical studies; and Christian history and theology.

Within our undergraduate programmes, our main strength is in the study of the Christian religion, which we approach from a wide range of disciplinary angles: historical, linguistic, sociological, philosophical, theological, cultural and textual. We are particularly interested in studying theology in its wider historical, social and cultural contexts, and in thinking about why theological questions matter in the contemporary world. We also offer the opportunity to study other religions, through combinations of optional modules.

Good theology engages with the political, cultural and social issues which affect our lives, and this will stretch your intellectual abilities to the full. At Exeter, you’ll acquire a variety of critical skills attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers.