Research Institute for Theology and Religion (RITR)
Founded in 1975, the institute develops and manages theological and religious research and its interface with society. Special effort goes into research related to the African context. The RITR launched the South African Science and Religion Forum (SASRF) in 1993 that convenes annually and publish its proceedings. This is the only significant initiative of its kind in the country. Through its Forum for Religious Dialogue (FRD) the RITR presents on a regular basis research seminars on contextual issues. International participation characterizes its projects. In the past if focused on pertinent questions like the TRC-process, poverty, violence, African cosmology, African rationality, the ethics of free elections and the like.
To be a centre of excellence by:
- Doing cutting edge research of international standard
- Doing research that impacts on the South African and African context
- Maintaining a high level of academic output
- Involving national and international scholars in its research
- Making research available to society at large
- Being involved in community engagement
- Promoting a research culture at the University of South Africa
A Centre of excellence
In light of the above it is clear that the RITR is a centre of excellence in line with the definition of such a centre which brings together existing research capacity and resources to enable researchers to collaborate on various projects in order to maximise research potential and to impact meaningfully on national and international areas of knowledge. As a research centre of excellence, the RITR meets the following requirements:
- It must consist of a group of academic employees who are active researchers.
- The researchers must collaborate within a number of focus areas.
- The majority of academic employees in the centre must be active and productive researchers.
- It must have a research output (especially research articles) that compares well with the research output of the best departments or schools of a similar nature in the country.
- It must have an excellent record for training masters’ and doctoral students.
- It should have NRF-rated researchers or any other researchers recognised by an accrediting body. (Presently 66 percent of research staff received NRF rating)
Core business of the Institute
Research is our core business. Through research we aim to remain a leader in our field of specialisation by:
- Establishing of a cooperative culture of free exchange of research information
- Conducting research in Theology and Religion that is socially relevant and internationally recognised.
- Participating in interdisciplinary research on an international level.
- Contributing through our activities to more tolerance and inclusivity in a pluralistic society.
- Soliciting funding to launch new projects and to empower researchers.
- Drawing scholars globally as partners.
- Involving scholars from all races in contextual research.
- Being involved in community service through disseminating the results of theological research to a variety of communities.
- Making it possible for religions to make themselves known in a country with religious pluralism.
- Training and guiding masters’ and doctoral students to successfully complete their studies
- Science and religion (SASRF)
- Religious response to ethical and societal issues of concern (FRD)
- Religious trends and the impact of religion on societies
- Religious trends and the impact of religion in the African Indigenous Churches and African theology
- Popularising the results of theological research
Offerings: Seminars, conferences, workshops and lectures
- The RITR has a proven record of successfully organising and presenting congresses, seminars and workshops
- The RITR organises and present at least one congress each year
- The SASRF and FRD seminars have proven that interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary and multidisciplinary research can be done successfully.
Postgraduate studies in cooperation with academic departments on topics related to the research focus of the RITR and specialization fields of the researchers
Please click here (PDF) for the constituition.