International reviewers describe the Department of Study of Religions as being viewed with envy and admiration by international colleagues and as changing the face of scholarship of religion in Ireland and meeting the criteria for recognition as international excellence
An international panel of reviewers have praised the Department of Study of Religions as being highly esteemed internationally and as making a significant contribution to the Study of Religions at the global scale. Citing the international networks staff in the Department lead across Europe and Asia the reviews commented that Study of Religions at Cork continues to be an exciting venture, watched with admiration and envy by international colleagues.
The reviewers pointed to the support structures in place for postgraduate researchers noting that the Department provides admirably for a growing number of postgraduate researchers, integrating them into a research culture that extends from local training seminars to international conferences and networks. Weekly research seminars that include postgraduate researchers and staff along the high quality of postgraduate supervision and guidance offered in the Department lead the panel to conclude that the care given to postgraduate research education by colleagues at Cork is significant
The international networks and links fostered and cultivated by staff in the Department were also highlighted for praise as impressive and near global…. Cork has every reason to be proud and impressed by them. Reviewers praised staff in the Department, who all have international reputations for excellence in research and leadership within the discipline….they play leading roles in national and international learned societies devoted to the discipline and cognate areas of scholarship... the esteem with which they are held is further indicated by their leadership and active participation in networks devoted to the study of religion(s) in East and South Asia. The reviewers pointed out as equally as important the building of partnerships with international research communities (e.g. in Estonia and India) as well as with researched communities signals the excellent ambition of a post-colonial and non-elitist research ethic.
Reviewers also highlighted the Department’s impact on national research communities pointing to the establishment of the Irish Association for the Academic Study of Religion is entirely a result of the visionary work of the department…., changing the face of scholarship of religion in Ireland….. the department has also organised or collaborated in running an impressive number of conferences in Cork and elsewhere, drawing in local, national and international participants from academia and beyond.
The research strengths of the Department were also praised as pioneering and impressive, and the dissemination strategies pursued by the Department have been instrumental in disseminating religious studies knowledge to the wider public through museum exhibitions ….[that]…. have managed to bring academic and public attention to previously voiceless communities. Overall the Panel argued that It is impossible to conceive of the study of the religions currently of considerable interest to the discipline without the pioneering work of colleagues in Cork. These religions include but are not limited to Japanese religions, Indian indigenous religions, Orthodoxy in East and Central Europe and transnational or diasporic Islam.”