About the Department
The Department of Theology and Religion has flourished at Durham University since its foundation in 1832, and has established an international reputation as one of the leading departments in its field. Its traditional strengths lie in the fields of Biblical studies and Christian theology, where it continues to provide teaching and research in depth and breadth second to none within the UK. In recent years it has also broadened its range of expertise to Jewish studies and to the sociology and anthropology of religion, expanding its staff and extending its research endeavours into these areas. It enjoys many cross-departmental and interdisciplinary links around the University, as well as a strong, collaborative relationship with the theological institutions based in and around Durham (Cranmer Hall, the Wesley Study Centre and Ushaw College). Recent growth — there are 23 full-time staff — makes it one of the largest and most influential Departments in its field in the UK.
The Department offers undergraduate teaching of the highest quality in the fields of Biblical studies, historical and systematic theology, Jewish studies and the study of religion. Biblical and ancient languages (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and even Egyptian hieroglyphics) are offered at all levels, from beginners’ to advanced. The curriculum is organised to give students a strong and broad foundation, but also the flexibility to specialise in their own areas of interest. All the staff are involved in research, and students are introduced to cutting-edge ideas in their areas of study. Academic staff in the Department are instantly recognised throughout the world for their publications and academic leadership, and a large number of postgraduates are drawn to Durham to study for Masters and Doctoral degrees under their supervision. The Department is constantly alive with research activity — seminars, conferences, colloquia — which place it at the centre of international scholarship. With its home in Abbey House, right next to Durham Cathedral, it is a stunningly beautiful and immensely exciting place to study and to research in Theology and Religion, currently one of the most vibrant fields of academic enquiry.