Faiths in Changing Ireland: Belonging and Going Beyond

Actions Panel

Faiths in Changing Ireland: Belonging and Going Beyond

Celebrating ISE at 50 Webinar Series, Floreat ut Pereat

When and where

Date and time



About this event

Faiths in Changing Ireland: Belonging and Going Beyond

6 October 2022 - Time 5PM-6.30PM (Ireland Time)


Adrian Cristea, Executive Officer, Dublin City Interfaith Forum

Fathima Shifana Mohamed, Postgraduate Student, Trinity College Dublin

Kathleen McGarvey, Provincial Leader, Our Lady of Apostles

Myozan Kodo Kilroy, Zen Buddhist Priest, Zen Buddhism Ireland

Andrew Pierce, Assistant Professor in Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin

Chaired by

Jude Lal Fernando, Associate Professor, School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Does believing necessitate belonging? Must belonging always mean an institutional affiliation to a religious tradition? Without some kind of belonging is a faith sustainable? Do belonging and ‘going beyond’ necessarily negate one another? What do we mean by ‘not believing’? Are we being anti-religious or reacting to certain forms of institutionalised religion or, indeed, something else? The use of ‘faiths’ in the title is deliberate. The plural is broader than the institutions of religion, yet does not exclude them. As the appeal of the centuries-old, institutionalised religion in Ireland continues to dwindle, Irish society is becoming both secular and multi-religious. New ways of finding meaning in life and making ethical/political choices are emerging. These pose a challenge as well as an opportunity to ‘established’ religions. The secular and religious aspects of life, perceived as antithetical to each other, do have a faith: most, if not all, hope for an enlightened society and a liberated future. Any faith’s vitality determines, and is determined by, the way it engages with the lived reality of society.

This Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) at 50 webinar will critically reflect on how ethical and religious traditions engage and contribute to a society growing more secular and religiously plural. Also, the webinar marks a momentous response to this challenge and opportunity: the reinvigorated MPhil in Contextual Theologies and Interfaith Relations, in the School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin.

ISE was founded in 1970 by Fr. Michael Hurley, with a vision of a place where people from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives could together explore the meaning and possibilities of peace and reconciliation. For more than fifty years ISE has developed and shaped the broad field of Ecumenics, combining theological reflection, social and political analysis, and civic engagement. ISE continues to uphold Fr. Hurley’s vision as an academic institute in Trinity College Dublin.