New role for Loyola academic

June 10, 2024 in Featured News, News

Dr Fáinche Ryan, Professor of Theology at the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin, was elected Vice-President of the European Society of Catholic Theology (ESCT) at the Annual General Meeting held in Pécs, Hungary. The aim of ESCT is to promote the academic discipline of Catholic theology, engaging with the many questions and topics that challenge Christian faith as well as contemporary European culture.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Ryan says, “It is a privilege and honour to be in this role at a time of great crisis not only for the Church in Europe but also for the discipline of theology in European Universities. The diplomatic challenges of this new role have become very apparent to me”.

As part of her new role, Dr Ryan is organizing a conference which will take place in Ireland from 21-23 August 2025. Whilst the theme has not been yet confirmed, the inspiration for the event comes from Pope Francis’ recent apostolic letter Ad Theologiam Promovendam (‘To Promote Theology’), November 2023). Dr Ryan notes the event will be a great opportunity to showcase theology in Ireland, as well as the Church in Ireland. She hopes that there will be rich ecclesial participation.

Dr. Ryan automatically becomes President of the ESCT in 2025. As part of her leadership role, she hopes to promote theological reflection on faith because, as she believes, “to share Christian hope one needs to be well grounded in what one believes”.

She also wants to cooperate with bishops in promoting the study of theology. “Sometimes theology has been experienced and deemed as too academic and this travesty needs addressing,” she says, adding, “Theology is alive and so relevant to our everyday lives. It is a discipline at once challenging and engaging as is life.”

Dr. Ryan’s roles as Vice President and President encompasses four years. “Four years in these roles seems a long time, but it will surely pass rapidly and in the meantime I will see what can be done,” she concludes.