Religious Studies and Theology

Cardiff is a leading centre for religious studies & theology research and impact. 

We are ranked among the top ten UK departments in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), the UK government's independent assessment of research quality. 75% of our research and 90% of our research environment have been classed as 'internationally excellent' or 'world-leading'. 

We combine historical and textual-linguistic study of religious traditions and theologies with social-scientific approaches to religion in contemporary societies. Three research groups explore religion in late antiquity, Asian religions and religion in contemporary societies. Staff research interests include the study of Christianity, Buddhism, and Manichaeism in Central and East Asia, and Islamic Studies.

Recent and ongoing research topics include the history of genealogy in East South Asia; Tibetan longevity practices; Tibetan Bon Medicine; Islam and young Bangladeshis; Muslim chaplains in the UK; and Welsh Muslim family identity. 

Research impact

From appreciating the importance of Muslim chaplaincy in institutions such as prisons and hospitals to a new translation of a sacred Buddhist text, the impact of our research ranked in the top ten in the 2014 REF, performing above the sector average for 'very considerable' impact.

Buddhist prayer book

Translation research shapes Buddhist practice in Germany

Our pioneering research into the translation of a sacred Buddhist text has influenced contemporary Buddhist practice in Germany.

How a German translation of a key Buddhist text is influencing perception of both the religious content and history of the text.