Religion and Theology Unit Prizes

Religion and Theology Unit Prize L2

Discipline: Religion and Theology 
School: School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies
Prize: A$100.00 
Level: Second-year level students 
Description: Prize for the best essay in any second-year level Religion and Theology unit.

Religion and Theology Unit Prize L3

Discipline: Religion and Theology 
School: School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies
Prize: A$150.00 
Level: Third-year level students 
Description: Prize for the best essay in a third-year level Religion and Theology unit.

Imagining University: communities of learning, the academy, and the city

In this lecture, Professor Mews reflects on the meaning of universitas in the Middle Ages, arguing that it was a broader concept than ‘University’ in the modern sense. He explores the various kinds of community in which learning took place in the Middle Ages, including the universitas of teachers and students in Paris, and their implications for our own understanding of what ‘the academy’ might mean.

Professor Mews is Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology at Monash University, where he teaches within the School for Philosophical, Historical & International Studies.

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Time: 5:45pm for 6pm sharp
Venue: The Cumming Theatre (Building K, Third level, Theatre K321) Monash University,
                    Caulfield Campus 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield
 RSVP: Friday 29 May 2011 to or telephone 9902 0116
                    or email

Please join us after to the lecture for Drinks & nibbles at Level 8, Building H, Caulfield Campus (across the Quad)

Further information

Interpreting Francis and Clare of Assisi from the Middle Ages to the Present

Interpreting Francis and Clare of Assisi From the Middle Ages to the Present

Edited by Constant J Mews and Claire Renkin, Broughton Publishing, Melbourne 2010

When: Wednesday 8 December 5:30pm for 6pm
Where: The Chapel, Yarra Theological Union,
Address:  98 Albion Road, Box Hill Melbourne
Launched by:  Fr Campion Murray ofm
RSVP:  Free but please RSVP to 
                            for advance orders.
Book Avail:      $59.95 special launch discount (RRP $89.95)

Refreshments will be served.

Hosted by the Franciscan Friars, Box Hill in conjunction with the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology, Monash University and Yarra Theological Union MCD

Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Order in 1209.

Further information

The Idea of ‘University’: communities of learning, the cloister and the city.

December from 5:30pm, Level 8, Building H, Caulfield Campus.  Details & RSVP to be confirmed, enquiries to


Further information

Monash-Münster Connections

On 17-18 June 2010 Prof Constant J Mews, Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology within SOPHIS, participated in a workshop on a theme that he had proposed to the University (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität) of Münster, Germany: Women’s communities and Communities of Learning in the Middle Ages.

This workshop was organised by the “Religion and Politics Excellence Cluster” at the WWU-Münster, an interdisciplinary grouping of over 200 scholars who work on aspects of religion and politics either in the modern or the pre-modern (ie ancient and medieval periods). The workshop also invited Rina Lahav, a Monash postgraduate working on religion and gender in thirteenth-century France, to attend the workshop.

Prof Mews spent two weeks at Münster, both pursuing his own research into the politics surrounding the relics of Thomas Aquinas in fourteenth-century France and Italy, and discussing the research of a number of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers at Münster.

He worked closely with Prof Eva Scholotheuber, a specialist in women’s religious communities in Germany in the later Middle Ages, who is keen to come to New Zealand (to attend the annual conference of the Australian and NZ Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, being held in Dunedin) and Australia in February 2011.

Prof. Mews is keen to establish reciprocal ties with Münster, involving exchange of both younger and senior scholars between Germany and Australia. Münster is a distinguished University town with a wealth of libraries, belonging to the various university departments as well as to the Church.

Further information

Dante’s Medieval World – Monash Prato

Monash University Centre Prato

See the handbook entry for more information.

Three things you need to know to enrol:

  1. Register as soon as possible with Australian Studying Abroad. Later you will need to pay a deposit and eventually the balance (this covers Course Delivery Fee and the specified costs relating to travel, accommodation and the infrastructure, as laid out in ASA’s brochure). All this information, as well as details of the course and the itinerary, can be found at
  2. Enrol through normal procedures at Monash. Since Dante’s Medieval World is a 2011-2012 summer course, enrolment will not take place until second semester 2011, 1st September, and can only proceed if (a) is complied with. For more information about enrolment   
  3. All students who enrol must have written approval (email or letter) from Carolyn James. Students must return the ASA reservation form along with written approval and a $500 deposit to secure their place on the course. You will be sent a Check list once you are enrolled which will highlights important dates such as final payment.
For further information contact the coordinators:
Professor Constant Mews
Phone: (03) 9905 2185
Dr Carolyn James
Phone:  (03) 9905 3267


Information for Prospective Students


Consider doing a major or minor sequence in religion and/or theology as part of a BA degree, or pursuing the joint BA/BTheol degree. If you have a BA (in any subject) or a BTheol, think about a BA (honours) in religion and theology, one year full-time or two years part-time study.


The Centre offers an MA in religion and theology, by research or by course-work and research.

The Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology also cooperates in teaching a Masters in Islamic studies, offered through the Centre for Islam and the Modern World, located in the School of Political and Social Inquiry.


For further enquiries on Religion and Theology, contact Professor Constant Mews (03) 9905 2185 or

Or contact the School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies



Further information

Honours in the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology

Research Supervison available in the following areas:

  • Biblical Studies – Jewish and Christian
  • Christian history and theology (from patristics to modernity)
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Gender and Ecology Theology
  • Religion and Literature
  • Sociology and Anthropology of Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion

This list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Not all staff will be available in any given year or semester. Staff members’ interests range widely, and students who wish to work on topics not covered in this list can possibly be accommodated. Dissertation topics should be discussed by interview with the Honours Coordinator.

B.Theology students from the Melbourne College of Divinity are able to progress to a B.A. Honours at Monash University- please contact the Disclipline Cordinator (above) for further information.


Dissertation (Thesis)

Unit Code (Link to Handbook)
  • ATS4798 General Seminar Part 1 – information provided to students closer to commencement of Candidature.
  • ATS4799 General Seminar Part 2 – information provided to students closer to commencement of Candidature.


Unit Code (Link to Handbook)
  • ATS4289 Medieval dialogues: Reason, mysticism and society
  • ATS4340 Confronting death through ceremony and symbol

The Honours Program in Religion & Theology involves intensive advanced study combining coursework with a research project, or dissertation, in which the student engages in independent research on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

For many students honours provides a stimulating and satisfying completion to their undergraduate work and for others it also offers a gateway to postgraduate research since the entry requirement for research degrees usually involves honours study to a specific level.

A regular general Seminar involves all students undertaking honours and provides a forum to support students as they progress through their dissertation work. This seminar is run by the School Honours Coordinator, whose specific responsibility is to guide honours students through the year from their initial application to the submission of their dissertation.


Combined Honours

This Program offers the opportunity for students to undertake 4th year honours courses which can combine study with other disciplines in our School and Faculty with permission & advice from the Honours Coordinator.

Further information

Current Students – Resources

Undergraduate Resources

Listed below are some general resources for undergraduate students. Please see individual centre websites for more discipline-specific resources, via the homepage

Honours Students Resources

Postgraduate Research Student Resources

School Resources:

Faculty/University Resources:

Coursework Student Resources

Further information

Postgraduate Studies: Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology Resources

Postgraduate Programs

Postgraduate supervision for those wishing to pursue research degrees in religious studies and theology is available through the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology. The centre also offers interdisciplinary subjects at the postgraduate level which examine the beliefs and practices of different religious traditions. Masters by coursework and masters by coursework and research programs are offered by the centre. Further details can be obtained from the director.

Research Supervison available in the following areas:

  • Biblical Studies – Jewish and Christian
  • Christian history and theology (from patristics to modernity)
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Gender and Ecology Theology
  • Religion and Literature
  • Sociology and Anthropology of Religion
  • Philosophy of Religion

This list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Not all staff will be available in any given year or semester. Staff members’ interests range widely, and students who wish to work on topics not covered in this list can possibly be accommodated, you should contact the Director, Professor Constant Mews for further information.

For information contact the Director  Professor Constant Mews, +61 3 990 52185.


Students complete 48 points including a research project, at least one methodology unit, and two elective units chosen from the list below (note that not all units are offered each year).

Research unit

  • APG4675 Research paper in religion and theology

Methodology units

  • APG4289 Medieval dialogues: Reason, mysticism and society
  • APG4302 Interpreting the Bible: Jewish and Christian perspectives
  • APG4343 Religion and ceremony in Australian society

Elective units

  • APG4278 Religion and secularism in the quest for European integration
  • APG4285 Dante’s medieval world: Politics, religion and the city
  • APG4288 Angels and demons: Rome, the papacy and the world
  • APG4307 Cultures of devotion in Renaissance Italy
  • APG4319 Zionism: The argument
  • APG4320 Jewish history, Jewish memory
  • APG4339 Sustainability and the sacred
  • APG4340 Confronting death through ceremony and symbol: A cross-cultural analysis
  • APG4341 Interpreting the sources of Islam: The Qur’an and Hadith
  • APG4342 Islamic thought in the modern world
  • APG4344 Sexuality and religion: Monotheist traditions
  • APG4676 Medieval women and their world: Literacy, authority and spirituality

Students may apply to undertake units at level four at another tertiary institution, such as the Melbourne College of Divinity, approved by the director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology.

Units taken outside Monash will not amount to more than 50 per cent.


The entry below only details the coursework component of this degree. For all requirements including the research/thesis component refer to the full course entry at:


Students complete 24 points at fifth year level from:

  • APG5278 Religion and secularism in the quest for European integration
  • APG5289 Medieval dialogues: Reason, mysticism and society
  • APG5302 Interpreting the Bible: Jewish and Christian perspectives
  • APG5307 Cultures of devotion in Renaissance Italy
  • APG5319 Zionism: The argument
  • APG5320 Jewish history, Jewish memory
  • APG5339 Sustainability and the sacred
  • APG5340 Confronting death through ceremony and symbol: A cross- cultural analysis
  • APG5342 Islamic thought in the modern world
  • APG5343 Religion and ceremony in Australian society
  • APG5344 Sexuality and religion: Monotheist traditions
  • APG5675 Research paper in religion and theology
  • APG5676 Medieval women and their world: Literacy, authority and spirituality
  • other units by permission

* At least one of these units must be taken if not already completed at honours or masters qualifying or in the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Research).

Course coordinator

Professor Constant Mews

Educational objectives

Students who successfully complete the MA in religion and theology will have demonstrated their ability to analyse religious and theological issues in their cultural, historical and literary context, in the light of contemporary theoretical perspectives; demonstrated their understanding of the interaction between religion and society as well as of the role of sacred texts in the self-understanding of a religious tradition; demonstrated their ability to discuss critically and clearly the contemporary significance of a variety of religious traditions and perspectives.

For more information on postgraduate programmes in religion and theology please see the current handbook.

Further information

Postgraduate Student – Resources & Information

Postgraduate Room

The School has rooms on both the 6th and 9th floor for the use of postgraduate research studentss.  The room has computers, printers, a text and image scanner and ergonomic desks and chairs.  The General Office (W604) supplies printer cartridges and papers.  These rooms are available for use by all postgraduate students in the School: a key can be obtained from the General Office (W604).

Student Resources, Mail & Communications

For research-related purposes, Postgraduate Students have access to:

  • Monash stationery (via General Office)
  • Fax & Mail facilities (link to Monash fax info)
  • Photocopiers - As the photocopiers in the Menzies Building are normally in use for administration & teaching purposes, the School provides rechargeable photocopying cards for the Library photocopiers.  These cards are available from the Postgraduate Administrator.
  • Slides, maps & photographs: The school can cover reasonable costs for the production of slides, maps and photographs by the relevant services in Geography & Environmental Science.
  • Mailbox: There is a postgraduate student pigeonhole located in the Staff rooms on the 6th & 9th floors.
  • Email:  It is university policy that mailing lists be linked to your Monash email account.  Please ensure your regularly check your Monash account or establish a diversion to your alternative/personal email account.
  • Postgraduate students are most welcome to use the Staff Room (W614) and its facilities.
  • Please use your postgraduate representatives to convey thoughts and issues to the School as a whole.
  • Watch out for funding & conference information, seminar dates/celebrations & other events via email and  the noticeboards.

Postgraduate Support Fund

The School Provides financial support to postgraduate researchers as follows:

  • Prioritises activities not covered by University & Faculty schemes, such as conference registrations, accommodation, interstate fieldwork and research materials.
  • Expenses paid upon production of Receipts
  • Each postgraduate research student can apply for up to $500 per year (or pro-rata amount if part-time) from the Fund.
  • The Postgraduate Coordinator will accept applications for all relevant research claims.
  • Please note claims are annual and not retrospective
  • Please see the Postgraduate Advisor for application forms.

MRGS Postgraduate Travel Grants

  • As part of its equity program, MRGS has travel and equity access grants available to Postgraduate Students. Application forms and further information can be found here

Library Services

If you are requesting services for which costs are recovered, you may need a budget code and an authorised signature. Please contact your Supervisor or see the Postgraduate Administrator.

Induction & Later Year Seminars

  • The School runs year-long informal seminars for first and later year postgraduates.
  • These cover issues such as postgraduate resources at Monash, defining a topic, writing literature reviews, thesis writing strategies and organisation of material.
  • Please contact the Postgraduate Administrator for further information

Faculty & University Resources

Further information

Current Research Grants

Australian Rearch Council Linkage Grants 2003-2009

A/Prof Constant Mews, Prof M Ariff, Prof M Skully, Dr AR Ghouse, Dr D Bakar and Prof A Saeed
Religion , Finance and Ethics: Islamic and conventional perspectives on shared principles, practices, and financial institutions and instruments

By linking together specialists in finance, banking and religious history, with the Muslim Community Cooperative (Australia), this project explores communication and mutual benefit between international Islamic finance and conventional Western finance. It will propose new financial structures and instruments to expand the scope of Islamic finance, to maximise lending and investment opportunities in Australia, and to promote interaction between the Islamic and conventional financial sectors. The project will enable Australian researchers to work with international authorities in Islamic finance, promoting dialogue between Islamic and other groups, and increase investment and development within the Australian financial market.

Further information

Current PhD Students

Leigh McKinnon

  • Boethius and the Philosophy of Arithmetic

Fiona Marantelli

  • Reading the Apostle Paul through the insights of Contemporary theorists. Epistemologies of Resurrection: Faith , Language and Religious Discourse.

Ann Taylor

  • The Lectionary, and Intertextuality and the Bible

Lynne Reeder

  • The contribution of Franciscan principles to the debates on interdependence in a globalised world

Current MA Students

Catherine Laufer

  • Christ’s descent to the dead.

John Noyce

  • Visions of the Goddess

Michael Wong

  • The relevance of the Ricoeur-Changeux Dialogue on neuroscience and philosophy to philosophical and theological anthropology

Recently Completed Students

Stephen Curkpatrick

  • “There is nothing outside of the text, not even ‘sect’”: The literary structure of Derridean theology. (2001)

Gary Deverell

  • The Bonds of Freedom: Christian Vows in Postmodernity. (2005)

Mark Manolopoulos

  • If Creation is a Gift: Towards an Eco/theo/logical Aporetics.

Ron White

  • Religious organisations and expression in the Greco-Roman world from a sociological perspective

Further information

Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology Research

The Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology serves to promote research relating to religion within and outside the School of Historical Studies.Peter HowardConstant Mews and Clare Monagle all research themes relating to religion and society in the medieval and renaissance periods, collaborating in this with members of the Australian Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilisation. Constant Mews is involved in research projects relating to ethics and medieval thought as well as Islamic and conventional financial ethics. Tamara Prosic works in the area of anthropological perspectives to biblical studies, while Judy McNicoll is researching the role of rituals relating to death in contemporary Australian society.

In the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Roland Boer researches and supervises students in the area of biblical studies and contemporary theory, while Kate Rigby researches and supervises in the field of religion, ecospirituality and ecocriticism. There is also a developing interest in Islamic studies.

Further information

Interreligious Relations and Studies at Monash Arts

Monash Arts is committed to promoting the process of interreligious relations and studies through collaborative research and teaching projects, involving four key centres:

There is also close cooperation between these centres, the Monash Asia Institute and the UNESCO Chair for Interreligious & Intercultural Relations–Asia Pacific.

This important collaboration, between several of the Faculty’s schools and centres, is made possible through generous support from a variety of organisations. To maintain our high standard of practice and uphold integrity, all decisions relating to the teaching content and academic standards are made by the University alone.

Home – introduction

The Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology was established by the Faculty of Arts in 1991 in order to:

  • advance interdisciplinary scholarship in the fields of religion and theology by drawing on existing strengths in the faculty and university;
  • provide coherent undergraduate programs of study in religious studies, within the limited resources of the centre by coordinating existing faculty resources;
  • provide graduate courses and opportunities to pursue higher degrees by research in the area of religious studies and theology by offering a range of postgraduate subjects, coordinating individual graduate supervision, and calling attention to relevant subjects offered within faculty;
  • promote interdisciplinary research, interchange and collaboration focused on religion and theology among staff at Monash and in the wider community through seminars, conferences and papers. One of the means of pursuing this objective involves on-going discussions with the major providers of theological education in Melbourne.

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Educational objectives

Students normally begin their minor and major sequences with introductory studies in Judaism and Christianity. Students who successfully complete a minor or major sequence in religion and theology will have:

  • been introduced to the major world religions and to several perspectives through which religious variation and change are understood including the disciplines of history, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies and literature;
  • developed advanced understanding of the place of religion in their own society and in other societies, explored in detail one or more religions at particular points in history, and developed skills in dealing with the sacred literature and beliefs of several religions

Further information

  • Contact Us

    Director, the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology Professor Constant Mews Ph: +61 3 990…