Discover research at the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. Read about our research focus areas, your higher degree research study options, and meet current research candidates.

Research for the real world

Spanning important areas of theology and philosophy, our research strives to make a positive difference in our communities and the world at large. 

Read about our four research focus areas, meet our current research candidates and – if you’re a prospective research candidate, learn about finding a supervisor and managing your candidature.

 

Research focus areas

A major focus of research is the extent to which different strands of early Christianity aimed to define themselves in relation to Jewish and Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, rhetorical, social, and cultural heritages. This includes attention to the reception, appropriation, and transformation of Classical and Jewish thought-systems and ways of life. A related important area of research is exploring the processes associated with, and ramifications of, Christianity’s growing power in the ancient world, including questions of the reception of New Testament writings in the Jewish and Roman worlds, and issues surrounding agency, identity, social power, and religious violence.

Biblical and Early Christian Studies research is wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, covering areas such as Hellenistic Judaism, New Testament Studies, Patristics, Late

Antique Cultural and Intellectual History, and Byzantine Studies.

Further information

Interested in this research area? Take a look at current projects at the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Learn more <Link to 5.5.2.3.1 Biblical and Early Christian Studies>

Our research incorporates the ongoing investigation of questions and issues that each generation encounters at one time or another pertaining to belief in the divine and the nature and place of humanity in the world. Drawing on such areas as moral, systematic and practical theology, we explore contextual approaches to the interpretation of the sources of faith in dialogue with contemporary culture.

Inter-religious dialogue

A further key area of inquiry is the theological and philosophical frameworks for effective inter-religious dialogue. The research is aimed at facilitating understanding and appreciation so that the wisdom of the faith traditions is not neglected in public discourse.

Further information

Interested in this research area? Take a look at current projects at the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Learn more <Link to 5.5.2.3.4 Religion and Theology> 

Research focuses on questions concerning the origins and nature of moral value and theoretical frameworks for the discernment of this value (including interrogation of particular normative ethical models). Particular areas of applied ethics such as healthcare ethics, bioethics, political and social ethics at an individual and a communal level feature in this program.

Questions emanating from the interplay between personal identity and moral agency are explored by considering the extent to which affirming the primacy of individual autonomy trumps moral imperatives. Among these imperatives are individual responsibility for others, the protection of the vulnerable and the development of community.

Further information

Interested in this research area? Take a look at current projects at the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Learn more <Link to 5.5.2.3.3 Philosophy> 

Philosophy, Religion, and Culture supports theoretically-informed constructive work in the study of religion. We have a longstanding strength in European philosophy, especially post-structuralism and phenomenology, and researchers also have a keen interest in cultural studies. Their research draws upon these resources in conversation with classic religious texts in order to address ethical and political questions of contemporary concern.

Further information

Interested in this research area? Take a look at current projects at the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Learn more <Link to 5.5.2.3.3 Philosophy> 

Research study options

Browse your higher degree research study options, learn about the candidature process and meet our current research candidates.

Prospective research candidates

Learn about finding a supervisor and managing your candidature as a future higher degree research candidate.

Finding a supervisor

All higher degree research candidates need to work under the supervision of a fully-accredited Principal Supervisor. It’s preferable that you identify a suitable potential Principal Supervisor for your project before you submit your application. Start your search using our Research Expertise Register.

Search now 

Managing your candidature

The success of your research will largely depend on how you manage the key steps of your candidature. Find out more about orientation, enrolment, ethics approval, academic progress, supervision, thesis submission, graduation, thesis binding and more.

Your research candidate journey

Current research candidates

Meet some of our current theology and philosophy research candidates and learn more about their research.

Theology researchers

View a selection of theology research candidates, their research topics, and research abstracts.

Christina Kheng

The Church and Management: Synthesis of a Reorientation Framework for Management Theories Through a Theological Engagement with Management Science

Current research candidates

Meet some of our current theology and philosophy research candidates and learn more about their research.

Theology researchers

View a selection of theology research candidates, their research topics, and research abstracts.

Christina Kheng

The Church and Management: Synthesis of a Reorientation Framework for Management Theories Through a Theological Engagement with Management Science

Read Christina’s abstract:

My doctoral project is an interdisciplinary study that brings together theology and management science. The goal is to synthesize, through an appropriate theological method, a framework to re-orientate management theories so as to render them more suitable for management in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as more conducive for human flourishing in all organisations. I hope that this project will contribute towards the theological scholarship that is much needed amidst an increasing influence of the managerial culture in both Church and society. My research includes a critical survey of how Catholic pastoral management literature has applied theories and tools from management science, an examination of the management field to identify its critical issues, and an analysis of the Second Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution on the Church and the World Today, Gaudium et Spes, to draw implications on management from its teachings. In addition, the work of Bernard Lonergan plays a central role in the interdisciplinary method I have adopted.

Teresa Brown

Theology as Interruption; Interruption as Theology: How does a theology of interruption help us to understand how we can think God today?

Read Teresa’s abstract:

The aim of my dissertation is to discern the extent to which a theology of interruption can assist us to think God in today’s context. Utilising a hermeneutic-phenomenological methodology, I am conducting an analysis of the work of Lieven Boeve when he effects a theology of interruption, in order to apply his approach to a key Christian doctrine, namely, the doctrine of the Trinity. In doing so, I hope to be able to elucidate a contextually plausible and theologically legitimate understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity for today’s Christian.

Jennifer Wakeling

Divine resonance: Instrumental Music as Acoustic Image in Christian Worship.

Read Teresa’s abstract:

The thesis investigates the generation of Christian meaning via the performance of instrumental music, separate from text, within a Christian worship context. The investigation is grounded in the epistemology and semiotic theory of Charles Peirce and incorporates the theological transcendental anthropology of Karl Rahner. The research will culminate in the development of a model of Christian musical-liturgical meaning-making, and, thus, offer a contribution to the field of liturgical studies, and within that, liturgical symbolic engagement.

Philosophy researchers

View a selection of philosophy research candidates, their research topics, and their supervisors.

David Allan

Psychoanalysis and the Problem of Self-knowledge 

Supervisor: Professor John Ozolins

Timb Hoswell

Formal Truth Conditions in Modern Scientific, Mathematical, and Technological Research

Supervisor: Dr John Quilter 

Jennifer Jones

Exploring Two Philosophical Worlds in the Writings of Edith Stein

Supervisor: Dr Nick Trakakis

Wojciech Kaftanski

Mimesis in Kierkegaard’s 1848-1851 Writings

Supervisor: J.Hanson, Dr Richard Colledge

Patrick Kavanagh

The Relation between Being and Order in Thomas Aquinas

Supervisor: Dr John Quilter

Stephen Ledinich

A Study of Substantial Change in the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas

Supervisor: Professor John Ozolins

Jodie McNeilly

Towards a Transcendental Aesthetic of Religious Experience: Faith and Atheism

Supervisor: Professor Claude Romano

Augustine Obi

Authenticity, Mitsein, Guilt: Heidegger and the Question of Ethics

Supervisor: Dr Richard Colledge

Don Parker

Know Thyself: Psychoanalysis and the Enlightenment Vision

Supervisor: Dr Richard Colledge

Xavier Symons

Communitarianism, Cultural Bioethics, and the Limits of Principalism

Supervisor: Dr Steve Matthews

 

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