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About the centre

The Center for Textual, Historical and Systematic Studies of Judaism and Christianity (CTHS) researches Christian and Jewish traditions that have influenced society over the past 3000 years. By studying texts and history and through systematic research, the CTHS researchers offer insight into the history of society and its major issues.

Research themes

The CTHS focuses on texts, history and theological content of Judaism and Christianity. This centre within the Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Research Institute analyses religious opinions and texts as they have been developed and shaped within Jewish and Christian traditions.

Key to the research are the philosophical, historical, ethical and spiritual studies into how people talk about God and how they experience their faith in religious communities. Subjects addressed include what people’s values are and how these are articulated in their behaviour, how they wish to contribute to society and how they express themselves - in the religious sense – in art and other media.

The CTHS also studies and analyses the development of Christianity and Early Judaism, in particular the study of competing models of interpretation within the various Christian traditions - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant – and the many interactions between these, both from a historical and from a current viewpoint.

The centre’s structure

The centre consists of three research chambers, with the following three fields of interest:

  • The Study of Texts, Contexts and Concepts in Judaism and Christianity (STCC)
  • The Study of Christian Theology (SCT)
  • The Study of Dominant and Dissident Traditions in the History of Christianity (SDDT)

The centre forms part of a joint house of education and organisation (the THS department), in which the research chambers are united in their critical engagement with and analysis of faith and religious convictions.

Each chamber represents a distinct discipline. STCC focuses on the production, transmission and interpretation of biblical texts and related Jewish and Christian literature. SCT centres on the systematic and philosophical thinking and rethinking of the central convictions and concepts of Christianity. SDDT concentrates primarily on source texts and the dynamics of perception of both the Christian and dissident traditions from late antiquity until the present day.

Societal objectives

The centre contributes to people’s ability to comprehend and critically engage with an increasingly complex world. The centre aims to do this by engaging current ideas, values and norms, practices and sources of authority in a conversation with historically, ecclesiastically and culturally diverse traditions. Examples include sharing insights from biblical texts on the apocalypse with issues concerning climate change, or explaining the relationship between mysticism and art.