Irish Institute for Catholic Studies
Situated within Mary Immaculate College, a third level Catholic College of Education and the Liberal Arts, the Irish Institute for Catholic Studies is a cross-faculty, interdisciplinary, research-oriented and community engaged network of scholars involved in the study of Catholicism and its contribution to culture and society in Ireland and beyond.
The IICS is an interdisciplinary research centre inspired by and in critical dialogue with Catholic culture and thought. We explore the long and rich Catholic tradition in a spirit of scholarly rigor and academic freedom. We engage with the intellectual contribution of Catholicism to philosophical, theological, educational and social debates, past and present, as well as the expression and embodiment of a Catholic sensibility in fine arts, literature, architecture and music. We engage with contemporary global realities and are dedicated to research and dialogue in the following key areas:
- Social & environmental justice
- Catholic Theology
- The Arts & Culture
- Catholic Religious Education
- Promote interdisciplinary, high-quality academic research related to Catholic Studies.
- Contribute to historical, intellectual, philosophical and theological understandings of Catholicism as religion and social movement with a focus on the common good and human dignity.
- Contribute to the academic understanding of Catholic identity through our focus on social justice and sustainability.
- Disseminate knowledge of Catholics and Catholicism through publications, conferences, public lectures, symposia, and public dialogue.
The Irish Institute for Catholic Studies runs a popular Lunchtime Lecture Series and as well as evening Guest dLectures. Stay updated with our 2019-2020 schedule of free public events at the IICS Twitter page.
If you wish to sign up for our mailing list, please email our Research Assistant at: Carleigh.Garcia@mic.ul.ie
Director: Dr Patricia Kieran
IICS Research Assistant: Carleigh Garcia
IICS Post-doctoral Research Assistant: Dr Ian Hickey
IICS Visiting Professor (2019-2021): Professor Liam Gearon, University of Oxford
IICS Associate Members
- Professor Stephen Mc Kinney, Glasgow University
- Professor Susan Docherty, Newman University
- Professor Paul Murray, Durham University
- Professor Elżbieta Osewska, UKSW Poland
- Professor Martin O’Kane, Lampeter University
- Professor Liam Gearon, University of Oxford
- Professor John Sullivan, Liverpool Hope University
- Dr Ros Stuart-Buttle, Liverpool Hope University
IICS’s Focused Areas of Interest
The IICS is a network of scholars involved in the study of Catholicism & its contribution to society. We are focused on the following four areas:
A) The IICS promotes interdisciplinary research related to Catholic Studies. Our guest lecture speakers includes expert speakers on fine arts, literature, theology, education, music, social justice etc.
B) To further students’ understanding of Catholic Studies, we facilitate students guided tours of local (Hunt Museum), national (Chester Beatty) and international (Vatican Museum) Museums’ wonderful collections of religious art.
A) The IICS explores Catholic social teaching and is concerned with the promotion of human rights, climate change and the dignity of the human person.
B) To promote social justice, the IICS is involved in research focusing on inter-religious dialogue, the voice of the child in education as well as climate justice. It also promotes action for justice through engagement with a number of organisations concerned with homelessness, those in Direct Provision and socially and educationally disadvantaged groups.
A) Located in a third-level higher education institution, Mary Immaculate College, the IICS is interested in promoting the education of Catholic Studies scholars and establishing an interdisciplinary ‘Catholic studies’ stream in the postgraduate taught programmes of the College, and postgraduate research. We conduct seminars for researchers interested in exploring the Catholic element of their diverse research interests.
B) We foster interdisciplinary scholarly research among scholars. Our expanding database encourages networking and research collaboration. We focus on making such research accessible through seminars, public lectures and on-line resources.
A) The IICS recognizes the importance of the environment and its protection. Conscious of our effect on the environment, the IICS attempts to promote and educate people about climate justice.
B) We take Third Level students on a voluntary Soul Safari, on a day retreat to the sea, to relax and meditate in nature, with an optional Catholic element of spending time with a trained Spiritual Director.
IICS PhD Scholarship - Apply Now!
The Irish Institute for Catholic Studies (IICS) is delighted to announce a four-year fully funded PhD Scholarship.
The awardees will be located at Mary Immaculate College and the research undertaken during this scholarship will serve to advance the aims and objectives of the Irish Institute for Catholic Studies.
The scholarship is worth €18,203 p.a. and is available for fulltime students for up to four years to students who engage in the interdisciplinary area of Catholic Studies.
Terms & Conditions of the Award:
Awardees at Mary Immaculate College will hold an IICS departmental assistantship in the Department of Learning, Society and Religious Education to support of the work of the IICS. This is currently valued at €6,900 p.a. and will be required to comply with the Terms & Conditions attaching to College departmental assistantships. In addition, they will receive a scholarship of €6,900 p.a. and a PhD fee waiver valued at €4,403 (total value: €18,203 p.a.). The assistantship stipend and the scholarship will be co-terminus and continuing payment will be dependent upon satisfactory performance in respect of the departmental assistantship as well as PhD progression. Each awardee will belong to a scholarly support group made up of national and international researchers in the Irish Institute for Catholic Studies as well as an interdisciplinary community of researchers undertaking doctoral research in Mary Immaculate College. There is an expectation that the Scholar will participate fully in IICS projects and make themselves available for conferences, publicity events and other activities that serve the IICS and Mary Immaculate College. Such engagement will involve, for example, attendance at seminars or conferences to formally present work in progress and to discuss research projects within the group. Any bridging studies and/or research methods development required by Scholars in order that they can progress their projects will be decided by their supervisor and undertaken during the term of the award. As already detailed above, the award entitles the recipient to €18,203 per year for a maximum of 4 years during which they will complete the PhD at Mary Immaculate College.
How to Apply:
- Candidates should follow the usual procedures for application for PhD Studies at Mary Immaculate College.
- Candidates must:
- Satisfy requirements for admission to the PhD register and be fulltime engaged in their studies;
- Satisfy requirements for the award of a departmental assistantship;
- Demonstrate in a letter of application addressed to the Director of The Irish Institute for Catholic Studies how their proposed dissertation research will contribute to the goals of the IICS to be evaluated by a three person-panel appointed by the Director of the Institute;
- Not hold any other bursaries or awards associated with this programme of studies.
- Candidates may be called for an online interview as part of final selection.
Final submission date is February 26th 2021.
For further Information, please contact:
Dr Patricia Kieran
Director Irish Institute for Catholic Studies
Mary Immaculate College
The Irish Institute for Catholic Studies is compiling a database of interdisciplinary research to disseminate academic research on Catholic culture and thought. Please contact IICS directly if you wish to contribute to this database.
- Hickey, I. Haunted Heaney: Spectres and the Poetry, Routledge. (Forthcoming June 2021).
- Hickey, I. ‘Challenging Societal Norms Through the Spoken Word: Benjamin Zephaniah’s City Psalms’ in The Routledge Companion to Spoken Word Poetry in the UK, Routledge. [Forthcoming March 2021]
- Hickey, I. ‘Virgilian Hauntings in the Later Poetry of Seamus Heaney’ (2018) in Estudios Irlandeses, Issue 13. pp. 27-40.
- Hickey, I. ‘The Haunted Bog and the Poetry of Seamus Heaney’ (2018) in Nordic Irish Studies, Volume 17, Number 2. pp. 35-54.
- Hickey, I. ‘Elegising the Past and Future: Seamus Heaney’s “Route 110” Sequence’ (2019) in Irish University Review, Volume 49, Number 2. pp. 340-355.
- Hickey, I. ‘“The old cause is never dead”: Hauntology and Brendan Behan’s The Hostage’ (2020) in Irish Studies Review, DOI: 10.1080/09670882.2020.1742461.
- Hickey, I. ‘“Dublin You Are”: Representations of Dublin in Twenty-First Century Irish Poetry’. (2020) in C21 Literature: Journal of Twenty-First Century Writings. DOI:
- Hickey, I. ‘Derrida, Heaney and the Translation of Virgil’s Aeneid Book VI’ in Études Irlandaises. [Accepted and Forthcoming].
- Patricia Kieran & John Mc Donagh (2020) British Journal of Religious Education Vol. 40 No. 4. The centre cannot hold: decolonising the RE curriculum in the Republic of Ireland
- Patricia Kieran & Aiveen Mullally (2020) Covid-19 A Watershed for the Catholic Church, Doctrine & Life, Vol. 70 No. 7, pp. 2-10.
- Patricia Kieran, Marie Parker-Jenkins & Anne Ryan (2020) Religions and beliefs in changing times: perspectives of student stakeholders in third-level educational contexts in the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, British Journal of Religious Education Religions and beliefs in changing times: perspectives of student stakeholders in third-level educational contexts in the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
- Kieran, P & Mullally, A. (2020) ‘The new ‘nones’: the implications of ticking the ‘No Religon’ census box for educators in Ireland’ in The Furrow , July/August , pp. 387-395.
- Kieran. P. (ed.) (2019) Connecting Lives: Inter-belief Dialogue in Contemporary Ireland. Dublin: Veritas. pp. 309 ISBN 9781847307613 https://www.veritasbooksonline.com/connecting-lives-9781847307613-27455/
- O’Donnell, A., Kieran, P., DCherouvis, S., Bergdahl, L., with Langmann, E. (2019) The Enquiring Classroom: Values, Identity, Exploratiion. Erasmus + http://nebula.wsimg.com/b34a2e21e05d30983c68342cf6de3918?AccessKeyId=C0264DFDC5E0FBB4FF37&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Current IICS Lecture Series & Events
To promote interdisciplinary research and contribute to historical, intellectual, philosophical and theological understandings of Catholicism as religion, social movement, body of thought, and material culture, we have established a lunchtime and evening lecture series.
For the foreseeable future, our lecture series will be held on Microsoft Teams. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like links to a particular/all meetings. All are welcome to attend.
Lectures to take place on Wednesday afternoons from 3-4 pm Dublin
- 27/1/2021 Mark Regan, Research Assistant ESRI ‘Child Poverty and the Pandemic'
- 3/2/2021 Professor Gavin D'Costa, University of Bristol ‘Catholics and Jews: The disputed question of “mission”’
- 10/2/2021 Vivek Da Silva, Veritas Ireland 'Relationship and Sexuality Education in Schools in Ireland'
- 17/2/2021 Caelainn Hogan 'Republic of Shame: Magdalen Laundries of Ireland and the Catholic Church'
- 24/2/2021 Dr Ian Hickey, IICS 'A Door into the Light: Catholicism in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney'
- 3/3/2021 Dr Ros Stuart-Buttle, Liverpool Hope 'Authority, Pedagogy, and Religious Education Online'
- 10/3/2021 Dr Donna Doherty ‘Exploring the Role of Religious Book Publishing in Lifelong Religious Education’
- 24/3/2021 Carleigh Garcia, IICS ‘Country Girls’ Shame: Irish Catholicism in Edna O’Brien’s infamous trilogy and epilogue’
- 7/4/2021 Catherine Stapleton, MIC ‘A Reflection on School Ethos and Religious Education’
- 14/4/2021 Professor Peter Finn KSG, Principal of St. Mary’s University College, Belfast Catholic Higher Education
- 21/4/2021 Dr Aoife Neary, UL 'Transgender Equality in Schools'
- 28/4/2021 Alice Leahy, Alice Leahy Trust on 'Wasting Time with People'
- 12/5/2021 Dr Tom Finnegan, MIC ‘Comparative RE in Catholic Schools’
- 19/5/2021 Dr Amy Healy and Professor Michael Breen, MIC 'Human Trafficking and Exploitation, the Island of Ireland'
- Welcome by Dr. Patricia Kieran, Director of the IICS
- Introduction by Prof. Eugene Wall, President of MIC
- Speaker: IICS Visiting Professor, Professor Liam Gearon, Oxford University
- Respondent: Prof. Anthony Towey, St. Mary’s University
The Mid-West Sikh Community, in collaboration with Limerick City & County Council and Mary Immaculate College, has planned a number of events to commemorate the life of Limerick native Max Arthur MacAuliffe. Postponed until future notice.
There are many Catholic Universities, centres and organisations around the world where Catholic scholarly research, education and pastoral initiatives are being undertaken. See A-Z list of countries followed by other useful links.
- Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt
- Catholic University College of Ghana
- Catholic University of Eastern Africa
- St Augustine College of South Africa, Johannesburg
- St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Nyegezi & Malimbe
- Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi
- University of the Sacred Heart Gulu, Gulu
- John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences
- Massimiliano Massimo Institute
- Pontifical Biblical Institute
- Pontifical Lateran University
- Pontifical Oriental Institute
- Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
- Pontifical University Antonianum
- Pontifical University Irlandese
- Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum
- Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas
- Salesian Pontifical University – Rome, Turin & Jerusalem
- Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education Ignatianum, Kraków
- John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin
- Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw, Warsaw
- Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Wroclaw, Wroclaw
- Pontifical University of John Paul II, Kraków
- UKSW Poland
- University of Opole Faculty of Theology, Opole
- Aquinas College, Stockport
- Carmel College (St Helens)
- Digby Stuart College
- Durham University
- Glasgow University
- Holy Cross College
- Lampeter University
- Leeds Trinity University
- Liverpool Hope University
- Loreto College, Manchester
- Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
- Maryvale Institute
- Newman University, Birmingham
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- University of Oxford
- Xaverian College
- Avila University
- Benedictine College
- Boston College
- Catholic University of America
- College of Saint Benedict
- College of the Holy Cross
- Creighton University
- DePaul University
- Duquesne University
- Fairfield University
- Fordham University
- Gannon University
- Georgetown University
- Gonzaga University
- John Carroll University
- Loras College
- Loyola Marymount University
- Loyola University, Maryland
- Loyola University, New Orleans
- Loyola University, Chicago
- Manhattan College
- Marquette University
- Mount Saint Mary’s University – California
- Notre Dame University
- Providence College
- Regis University
- Rockhurst University
- Saint Edward’s University
- Saint John’s University – Minnesota
- Saint Louis University
- Saint Mary’s College – Indiana
- Saint Mary’s College of California
- Saint Joseph’s University
- Santa Clara University
- Seton Hall University
- Seattle University
- Spalding University
- St. Bonaventure University
- St. John Fisher College
- St. Mary’s University – Texas
- St. Norbert College
- Stonehill College
- University of Dallas
- University of Dayton
- University of Detroit Mercy
- University of Portland
- University of San Diego
- University of San Francisco
- University of Scranton
- University of St. Thomas – Minnesota
- University of St. Thomas – Texas
- Villanova University
- Xavier University
- ACCU Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities https://www.accunet.org/
- ACI Association of Catholics in Ireland https://acireland.ie/
- ACP Association of Catholic Publishers https://www.catholicpublishers.org/
- ACT Association of Catholic Teachers https://www.actireland.ie/
- ACE Alliance for Catholic Education https://ace.nd.edu/
- Association of Catholic Priests Ireland https://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/
- Association of Catholic Tertiary Students Johannesburg https://www.facebook.com/ACTSnational/
- AMRI Association of Leaders of Religious and Missionaries in Ireland https://www.amri.ie/
- Catholic Leadership Institute https://www.catholicleaders.org/
- Cafod Catholic Agency for Overseas Development UK https://cafod.org.uk/ #
- Catholic Education Association of the Philippines https://www.ceap.org.ph/
- Catholic School Partnership (CSP) Ireland https://www.catholicschools.ie/csp/
- CTA USA https://cta-usa.org/
- International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology (INSeCT) https://insecttheology.wordpress.com/
- European Society of Catholic Theology https://www.kuleuven.be/eurotheo/
- Inclusive Catholic Education https://oregonice.org/
- NCEA National Catholic Education Association USA https://www.ncea.org/
- National Catholic Partnership on Disability https://ncpd.org/node/466
- The Priest’s Initiative Austria http://www.pfarrer-initiative.at/
- Trocaire Irish Overseas Development Agency of the Irish Catholic Church https://www.trocaire.org/
- USCCB United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usccb.org/about/
- Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church http://www.catholicethics.com/
- Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture. San Diego https://www.sandiego.edu/cctc/
- Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference https://www.catholicbishops.ie/
- Pobal Dé People of God Ireland http://pobalde.ie/
- We are Church Ireland http://wearechurchireland.ie/
- BBI The Australian Institute of Theological Education https://www.bbi.catholic.edu.au/
- Catholic Centre Hong Kong https://www.catholiccentre.org.hk/
- Centre for Catholic Studies Durham University https://www.dur.ac.uk/theology.religion/ccs/
- Catholic Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association https://www.aera.net/SIG175/Catholic-Education-SIG-175
- University of Cambridge Von Húgel Institute for Critical Catholic Enquiry https://www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/
- Las Casas Institute Oxford Catholic Social Teaching & Theology
- Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies http://www.irishinstituteforpastoralstudies.com/
- Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education DCU https://www.dcu.ie/materdei-centre-for-catholic-education/index.shtml
- Nagasaki Catholic Centre Japan http://www.e-yh.net/nccyh/
- The Institute of Catholic Culture USA https://instituteofcatholicculture.org/
- Institut Catholic de Paris https://en.icp.fr/
- Alive! Irish Monthly Catholic newspaper http://www.alive.ie/
- Catholic Communications Office https://www.catholicbishops.ie/cco/
- Catholic Ireland.Net https://www.catholicireland.net/media/
- Dicastery for Communications http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/segreterie/segreteria-comunicazione/index_en.htm
- I-Catholic multimedia player https://www.icatholic.ie/
- Intercom Catholic Pastoral and Liturgical Resource https://www.intercommagazine.ie/
- Irish Catholic https://www.irishcatholic.com/
- L’Osservatore Romano http://www.osservatoreromano.va/en/pages/the-newspaper
- NCR National Catholic Reporter USA https://www.ncronline.org/
- Pope Francis Twitter @Pontifex https://twitter.com/Pontifex?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
- The Furrow Journal for the Contemporary Church https://thefurrow.ie/
- The Tablet International News and Opinion https://www.thetablet.co.uk/
- Vatican News https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-07/pope-francis-appointments-press-office-director-bruni.html
The IICS Archive is a place to find information on past events and lectures held by the IICS, now recorded on our YouTube channel and summarized in our Fall 2020 Newsletter.
IICS YouTube Channel
To promote interdisciplinary research and contribute to historical, intellectual, philosophical and theological understandings of Catholicism as religion, social movement, body of thought, and material culture, we have established a lunchtime and evening lecture series featuring a wide range of speakers, which we have now archived on our YouTube channel.
We hope our YouTube channel will not only be seen as an archive of past events, but as a tool for homeschooling children during Covid-19 using the Grow in Love RE programme, and a resource for living with lockdown, by creating a vlog series to encourage positive thinking during a time of change and uncertainty.
You can access our YouTube channel here.
We are now creating a biannual newsletter on the activities of the IICS. The Fall 2020 IICS Newsletter can be found here.
MIC Online Retreat at Glenstal Abbey
On June 20th, 2020, the Feast of Immaculate Heart of Mary and World Refuge Day, MIC held an on-line retreat at Glenstal Abbey and Mary Immaculate College. This retreat welcomed participants from a variety of faith and belief traditions.
You can access a recording of the retreat here.
IICS Feature in I Love Limerick Publication
The 2019 article by Limerick publication, I Love Limerick written about the IICS can be accessed here.
- Current IICS Lecture Series & Events