In view of society's pluralistic worldviews in the 21st century, the question arises how religion can contribute to identifying problems, crises, and challenges of the present day, as well as finding answers and solutions. The Faculty of Catholic Theology is pursuing such a task in cooperation with the Faculty of ProtestantTheology, the Department of Islamic-Theological Studies, as well as other departments and faculties.

In its research and teaching, the Faculty of Catholic Theology examines religious traditions and phenomena with regard to approaches to meaning and perspectives for action, especially those of Christianity, against a background of critical dialogue. On this basis, it develops perspectives for a democratic, humane social sys tem oriented towards social justice. It examines the religious and cultural heritage from the point of view of theology, philosophy, empirical ap proaches, as well as religious studies to provide the background for understanding key occidental concepts and ideas, whose origin cannot be fully grasped without the Judaeo-Christian tradition and other religious narratives and practices.

Together with the historical and philosophical disciplines, the humanities, cultural studies and the social sciences, it contributes to the hermeneutic examination of religious motifs and their transformation. It applies interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies oriented towards interreligious and intercultural approach es, committed to the heritage of Enlightenment, secularity, and the rule of law.


Thematic Areas and Key Research Ares

The Faculty of Catholic Theology particularly focuses on three thematic areas:

  • 1.) Catholic theology in contemporary discourses
  • 2.) Interdisciplinary research on religions
  • 3.) Ethical challenges in society

(1) The Faculty offers its disciplinary specialisations and hermeneutics in order to elucidate the biblical, historical, institutional, theological, philosophical and practical foundations of Christianity, which are examined with regard to their effects on modernity’s struggle to achieve human autonomy and respect for others. However, it also provides a critical analysis of, and attention to, social developments – as, for instance, in its interdisciplinary research on human values.

 Regarding (2) interdisciplinary religious research, the Faculty can build on ist constitutive interdisciplinary basic structure, and it is committed to bring together the expertise of different academic disciplines engaged in religious research at the University of Vienna in order to create synergies.

(3) The Faculty examines a wide variety of ethical issues (climate crisis, modern technologies, migration and poverty, gender equality, political ethics, medical ethics, etc.). Based on a Christian anthropology, its expertise in the areas of philosophy, religious studies, social ethics and theological ethics provides considerable input to academic reflection on these topics.


The thematic areas of the Faculty of Catholic Theology are reflected in the structure of ist disciplines, with the location in Vienna – situated between Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, as well as between Catholic and Eastern Church traditions – playing a special role in this context. They encompass biblical, historical, systematic and practical theology; ethics; as well as intercultural philosophy of religion, religious studies and law of religion.


The joint key research area, which takes account of the main focuses of the Faculty, is called „Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society“.

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