UCD considering the introduction of theology

St Disibod

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From UCD's website (see here)
The Governing Authority of UCD has discussed a proposal to make a significant investment in comparative theology and world religions, as part of a partnership with the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy. UCD is now exploring how this proposal might be best realised.

“Theology is an important academic discipline and is well established in the best international universities” said Dr Hugh Brady, President of UCD. “UCD would be delighted to contribute to the development of an Irish world-class capacity in comparative theology and world religions.”
Even a cursorary glance at this should raise the odd eye-brow. I thought UCD's constitution forbade the teaching of theology (and that of the NUI colleges only Maynooth was allowed), but perhaps I was misinformed. But anyway, to the issue at hand:

With several humanity departments being shut down in UCD and many others being drained white for resources it seems doubtful that they would take in theology unless they genuinely wanted to make it a world class department- President Brady seems to dismiss everything unless it is "world class" or "internationally recognised" or one of the other various synonyms available. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin argued several months ago that the study of theology needed to be upgraded in Ireland, and I doubt UCD's announcement is unconnected to this fact. This has obviously been in the pipeline for a while now.

Official Church-state dialogue, Christian radio channels, the Pope's suggested belief that the Irish Church is emerging from "a valley period," and now this: is religion (or at least Roman Catholicism) making a march back to greater relevance in Ireland?
 


Collins

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Great another Theology course. Whre pray tell are these future graduates going to get jobs? I can't see many companies queing up at careers day wanting to hire Theology gradutes. Madness in my view.
 

Twin Towers

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Collins said:
Great another Theology course. Whre pray tell are these future graduates going to get jobs? I can't see many companies queing up at careers day wanting to hire Theology gradutes. Madness in my view.
Well you'd expect them to be honest, perhaps the most important consideration when hiring :wink:
 

politicaldonations

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The philosophy department in ucd seems quite religious already judging by some of the staff I have heard on radio.
 

smiffy

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politicaldonations said:
The philosophy department in ucd seems quite religious already judging by some of the staff I have heard on radio.
That's true, although less so than in previous years (former Archbishop of Dublin Des Connell is also a former head of the Department). However, there's a difference between theology and philosophy, even when the latter is being taught by religious people.
 

St Disibod

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Twin Towers said:
Collins said:
Great another Theology course. Whre pray tell are these future graduates going to get jobs? I can't see many companies queing up at careers day wanting to hire Theology gradutes. Madness in my view.
Well you'd expect them to be honest, perhaps the most important consideration when hiring :wink:
It wouldn't sway me to that conclusion, but regardless it is the opinion of education expressed in these posts that I will take issue with.

Education should be considered an end in itself, like health or security. The state does not provide health or security to its citizens purely on the basis of economic advantage; imagine healthcare was provided according to your profession (though private healthcare brings an unwelcome degree of reality to this hypothesis) or if police to population ratio was determined by the average wealth of an area rather than the need for police presence. Why then should education only be provided as economic investment?

A certain amount of skills are required, and there are plenty of dutiful citizens willing and eager to learn them. But knowledge pursued for knowledge's sake is also necessary to a healthy society.

politicaldonations said:
The philosophy department in ucd seems quite religious already judging by some of the staff I have heard on radio.
Indeed Cardinal Connell hails from there. Because they were forbidden a theology department the Church stocked NUI philosophy departments with priests.
 

Ronanr

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proposal to make a significant investment in comparative theology and world religions,
This sounds like they want to concentrate on non-Christian religions.

I hope they do, because Theology departments in this country currently are dominated by Christian specialists (as all apart from Trinity have a strong Christian affiliation, this is unsurprising).

I would guess that having a big Islamic component in the department would be tempting at the moment, given that it is so much in the news, but i hope the organisers look beyond that. I think that there is a lot of scope to develop an Irish centre of knowledge on Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) which, due to the growth of India and China, will be much more influential religions in the 21st Century than the have been in the past.
 

smiffy

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Ronanr said:
I would guess that having a big Islamic component in the department would be tempting at the moment, given that it is so much in the news, but i hope the organisers look beyond that. I think that there is a lot of scope to develop an Irish centre of knowledge on Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) which, due to the growth of India and China, will be much more influential religions in the 21st Century than the have been in the past.
As a side-note, Gerard Casey of UCD and 'fanatical Catholic lunatic' fame used to teach a course in Chinese philosophy, including a few lectures on Taoism.

Just fancy that!
 

Ronanr

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Maybe when this new Dept. gets going you will have some fanatical Daoist teaching a course on Catholic apologetics! :)
 

joemomma

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Twin Towers said:
Well you'd expect them to be honest, perhaps the most important consideration when hiring :wink:
I wouldn't expect a theology graduate to be any more honest than any other type of graduate. Although I suppose they would have acquired enough skill in casuistry to redefine "truth" in order that they stay on the right side of it.
 

Twin Towers

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joemomma said:
Twin Towers said:
Well you'd expect them to be honest, perhaps the most important consideration when hiring :wink:
I wouldn't expect a theology graduate to be any more honest than any other type of graduate.
Well I wouldn't expect you would joemomma :(
 

Pidge

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smiffy said:
Ronanr said:
I would guess that having a big Islamic component in the department would be tempting at the moment, given that it is so much in the news, but i hope the organisers look beyond that. I think that there is a lot of scope to develop an Irish centre of knowledge on Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) which, due to the growth of India and China, will be much more influential religions in the 21st Century than the have been in the past.
As a side-note, Gerard Casey of UCD and 'fanatical Catholic lunatic' fame used to teach a course in Chinese philosophy, including a few lectures on Taoism.

Just fancy that!
That's now taught by Dr. Li.

I believe Gerard Casey's a libertarian know, who's disowned politics. Who knows what he'll be next week?!?
 

Toland

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This proposal just illustrates the pervasive influence of the RCC in every level of education, including the national university. This proposal should simply not be given funding by the government.

We already have far too many theologians in Ireland and they have far too much influence and exposure in the media.

We need more philosophy and more science and we need them both earlier.
 

gaelach

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You dug up a 5 year old thread, to say that?

On a side note, did Smiffy ever reincarnate after the unpleasantness!?
 

Mercurial

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As a side-note, Gerard Casey of UCD and 'fanatical Catholic lunatic' fame used to teach a course in Chinese philosophy, including a few lectures on Taoism.

Just fancy that!
He once gave me an A+, so he's not all bad ^_^
 
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An update on what happened since 2007...

* The negotiations to relocate the Milltown Institute to UCD collapsed.
* The Milltown Institute is supposed to relocate to Trinity College Dublin (!) some time in the near future, renamed as the Loyola Institute of Theology.
 

Toland

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This sounds like they want to concentrate on non-Christian religions.

I hope they do, because Theology departments in this country currently are dominated by Christian specialists (as all apart from Trinity have a strong Christian affiliation, this is unsurprising).

I would guess that having a big Islamic component in the department would be tempting at the moment, given that it is so much in the news, but i hope the organisers look beyond that. I think that there is a lot of scope to develop an Irish centre of knowledge on Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) which, due to the growth of India and China, will be much more influential religions in the 21st Century than the have been in the past.
I don't see why non-christian religions are any more useful than the christian ones.

Take philosophy off the clergy and teach that instead, would be my suggestion.
 


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