Studies in Religion is a dynamic and globally influential centre for scholarly engagement and innovation within the discipline. The 2015 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) assessment in Religion and Religious Studies ranked Studies in Religion as above world standard.

Staff in the department are regularly involved in major government-funded collaborative research projects and take leading roles in international research networks. They have edited significant scholarly journals in the fields of new religions and the history of religion, and serve as core members of significant research projects (e.g. The Gnostic World Project).

The department has a large and dynamic cohort of higher degree research students working closely with staff. Our doctoral students are bringing new insights to traditional areas of study including early Christian literature, ritual studies and the study of Late Antiquity, others are pushing the boundaries of the study of religion into politics and the secular state, the fields of art, creativity, and new media.

Areas of research expertise

Christian origins, ritual material culture, and the study of Manichaeism form one important speciality in our department. We have demonstrated strength in the study of religion in Late Antiquity, with emphasis on comparative and inter-disciplinary approaches to ancient religions.
Iain Gardner, Jay Johnston

The variety and complexity of religion during the European Middle Ages is another core area of significant research, with expertise in both medieval Christianity and diverse European Paganisms.
Carole Cusack, Jay Johnston, Iain Gardner

The department is especially distinguished in the study of new religions and spiritualities, with particular focus on their interface with contemporary art, aesthetics, gender studies, media, and politics. Carole Cusack, Christopher Hartney, Jay Johnston, Raphael Lataster

The increasingly important and interrelated academic subfields of methodology in the study of religion and the history of the academic discipline are also areas of research strength.
Carole Cusack, Christopher Hartney, Jay Johnston, Raphael Lataster

Staff expertise and productivity in research is evidenced by major research projects on the translation and study of Manichaean and Gnostic Texts, Images and Artefacts of Ritual Power, and Religious and Political Thought during the twentieth century.

Further details

More information about our research projects and achievements can be found on our staff research profiles. We welcome enquiries about postgraduate research and visiting research fellowships.