Research & Centres

Research, Centres and Institutes

The research of Heythrop staff covers the full range of Philosophy, Theology and Pastoral Studies. Details of individual staff interests are indicated in the publications and research directory. The College has four Research Centres and two Institutes, based in the three Departments. In many cases, the work they do is interdisciplinary, involving Heythrop staff from other departments, also visiting research fellows, and representatives of faith and community groups.

Research: Pastoral and Social Studies

The Pastoral and Social Studies department has particular research strengths in 

• Practical and pastoral theology: contemporary issues, Church and society

• Contemporary ethical issues: moral imagination, business and finance

• Spirituality

• Psychology and sociology of religion: faith and personality, religion in secular society


The Heythrop Institute Religion and Society is a centre for critical reflection on contemporary issues and is both a resource and a stimulus for formulating Christian responses to the many complex questions that arise today.

The Religious Life Institute
The mission of the Religious Life Institute is to foster a theological vision of Christian religious life through study and research.

Research: Philosophy

The department has particular research strengths in

• Philosophy of religion

• Philosophy of mind and psychology, esp. agency, imagination, intentionality, perception, psychoanalysis, rationality

• Aesthetics, esp. fiction, imagination

• Metaphysics, esp. metaphysics of mind, natural kinds, necessity

Further research interests include the history of philosophy, esp. esp. ancient Greek philosophy and 19th-century German philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics, esp. metaethics and moral psychology.


The Centre for Philosophy of Religion aims to re-establish the links between religion as a set of theoretical claims and its moral, psychological and spiritual aspects, and by exploring how it is related to contemporary secular and scientific thought.

The philosophy department is also a founding member, and represented on the management committee, of the Institute of Philosophy, which is part of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.

Research: Theology

The Theology department has particular research strengths in

• Interreligious dialogue and comparative theology

• Christianity, esp. Middle East

• Church history, esp. early Church, modern Church in Ireland

• Systematic theology: Catholic theology, creation, political theology

• Biblical studies, esp. gender, Paul, Mark


The Centre for Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue provides a forum for the study and practice of the encounter between Christianity and the other major religious traditions.

The Centre for Eastern Christianity seeks to create a significant scholarly opening in Eastern Christian Studies.

The Centre for Textual Studies aims to offer an opportunity to develop and showcase the translation and text-critical skills of academics across all the College disciplines.

Research: Current staff and students

Information for current staff and students is available on the College Intranet, Helios.

Page Updated: Monday, February 17 2014