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UCAS code: V600

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Theology and Religion

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What is Theology and Religion?

While Theology is a very ancient intellectual discipline, no-one can doubt the earth-shaking significance of religious ideas and commitments in society today. Theological study provides an understanding of the intellectual structures of religions, and of the social and cultural contexts for religious belief and practice. Oxford has been at the very heart of religious debate, reform and turmoil in the British Isles for eight centuries so that the faculty here wears a mantle of history not available in other universities. At the same time Theology and Religion at Oxford is embracing whole-heartedly the challenges of the twenty-first century with the inclusion in its curriculum of all the major world religions and the opportunity to learn their primary languages. Students can also examine the relationship between religion and science, and the place of religion and religious ethics in public life. To enjoy studying Theology and Religion you need to be interested in the questions that religions raise and be ready to engage with them from a range of perspectives. This will prepare you to be something of a historian and a philosopher, a textual and literary critic, and a linguist. To be able to employ a combination of these disciplines effectively will not only make you a theologian but equip you to embark on a wide range of careers.

Theology and Religion at Oxford

TheologyThe Faculty of Theology and Religion has more than 100 members covering almost every possible branch of the discipline, ranging from experts in the ancient languages and literature of the world’s religions to church historians and systematic theologians. Its reputation attracts scholars from all over the world as visiting lecturers. As an undergraduate the first year provides experience of the methods of theological study and an opportunity to acquire skills in one of the scriptural languages, or to investigate philosophical problems.

In years two and three you may choose to specialise further in biblical studies, or in historical and contemporary theology, or in the study of another major world religion; while certain core papers give you a full grounding in the key principles and disciplines of theological study. Our library facilities are excellent. Besides the Bodleian and the library at Pusey House, most college libraries have a theology section. Our faculty library provides access to a vast range of networked resources in Humanities including electronic journals, library catalogues, language-learning programmes and digitised texts for different parts of the course.


While some Theology and Religion graduates go on to further study and research to become professional theologians, others will move into different areas. Recent graduates have gone on to careers as diverse as law, the Civil Service, social work, education, the media, publishing, banking, management consultancy, accountancy, personnel management, teaching, the police force and, in some instances, the churches. The Theology and Religion Faculty’s website has further information about careers for theologians.

Recent graduates include an editor for a publishing company and a head of Divinity at an independent school. Gillian, who graduated in 2009, is now a clerk in holy orders for the Church of England. She says: ‘Whether I am preaching, debating, teaching or ministering to the dying, a deep and rounded grounding in Theology is indispensable when it comes to the diverse nature of my job.’

Related Courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider Philosophy and Theology, or Theology and Oriental Studies.