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Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion

Number of students per year: 2 - 3


Typical offer: A*AA at A-level or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) in the IB or the equivalent. 


Essential subjects: None.

Useful subjects: The department suggests that essay-based subjects are good preparation for undergraduate study.

Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion at Clare 

Students apply to read Theology at Clare for various reasons. What they have in common is an interest in the religious dimension of human life, and the desire to study it in greater depth. 


Some have a religious faith they want to test and deepen, but this is by no means universal or necessary amongst Theology students. The Tripos is called ‘Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion’ because it is intended to appeal to those interested in Jewish, Islamic or Christian Theology, as well as those who are interested in comparative religion or the philosophy of religion.


There is also a possibility to study in cross-disciplinary fields, looking, for example, at the interaction between Theology and Literature, Psychology, and Science. Some students want to use a theological degree as a basis for teaching or ministry. Others have no particular career in mind, but are looking for an intellectually demanding course which will address issues they consider to be of fundamental importance.

Key People

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Rev'd Dr Mark Smith

Director of Studies & Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Divinity

Dr Smith's research focuses on the history and theology of the early church. His recent monograph, The Idea of Nicaea in the Early Church Councils, was published by Oxford University Press in December 2018. 


Dr Smith lectures in patristics, and is also Dean, and Director of Studies in Theology, at Clare College.