Major Essay

Module Level



Essay: 100%

Module Aims

To present students with the opportunity to research an area in theology under the guidance of a Faculty member and present their research in an essay of 3-5,000 words.

1. Film as a Forum for Evangelization [Professor Conway]

2. “Faith is the human response to revelation” explore the relationship between faith and revelation. [Dr Noel O’Sullivan]

3. An evaluation of the theological foundations of Margaret Farley’s sexual ethic, and its relevance for contemporary Irish Society. [Dr Suzanne Mulligan]

4. “Faith within Reason; Faith beyond reason.” An reflection on the relationship between faith and reason, or between philosophy and theology with reference to John Paull II’s Fides et Ratio [Dr Andrew Meszaros]

5. Canon Law in the life of the Irish Church since 1980 [Professor Michael Mullaney] 

6.  “Theologies of the Body in Early Christianity”

7.The spirituality of the Psalms

“Just as much as people in times past, we too are in need of God and the courage and strength that God’s word can give. How can we encounter God in this world of ours today? Can the Psalms teach us pathways to prayer?” (Carmel McCarthy, The Psalms: Human Voices of Prayer and Suffering [Dublin: Dominican Publications, 2012] p. 7). Focusing on one or two psalms, explore the poetic imagery by which the psalmist expresses spiritual longing, and suggest ways the ancient text can help people on their spiritual journey today. [Dr Jeremy Corley]

8. “Theologies of the Body in Early Christianity”
(Eligible for the Gilmartin prize in Ecclesiastical History)

This module explores attitudes towards the human body in early Christianity and, in particular, how these shaped a variety of theologies regarding the resurrection of the body among early Christian writers. Those taking this course may choose to focus on a specific topic from a number of areas, ranging from accounts of the early Christian martyrs to the literature of the ascetical movements of the fourth and fifth centuries.    

Students who choose the Major Essay module, specialising in Ecclesiastical History (2.5 credits), will be required to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Attendance at the Annual Monsignor Patrick J. Corish Lecture which will be delivered this year by
  • Professor Candida Moss of Notre Dame University

in Renehan Hall on Wednesday 18 October 2017 at 7.30pm. Professor Moss will address the topic of “Dying to Live Forever: Identity and Virtue in the Resurrection of the Bodies of the Martyrs”. Students will need to make themselves available for this event. Sign-in sheets will be available for students to register their attendance.

  • Completion of a 5,000 word assignment (under my supervision) on any topic within the parameters of “Theologies of the Body in Early Christianity”.
  • Students who complete this module can ask that their work be considered for the Gilmartin Prize in Ecclesiastical History (which will be restricted to this module in 2017/18). The student who is judged to have submitted the most impressive assignment (while fulfilling the conditions above) will be awarded the
  • Gilmartin Prize, valued at €400

 Further Information:

 Prof. Salvador Ryan


We're always fundraising to improve Saint Patrick’s College so why not donate and help make us better!