Since 2000, the Faculty of Theology has been developing a new area of research and education under the heading of "interreligious studies", which also includes a corresponding research group in Interreligious Studies and Islamic Theology. The work of Prof. Oddbjørn Leirvik has been essential in building up this research field. He has developed a broad international network related to this area and has become one of the leading international scholars in this field. Other key scholars include Associate Professor Anne Hege Grung.
Europe and Norway are increasingly marked by religious pluralism. The field of interreligious studies investigates the relation between various religions and worldviews, the tension between conflict and dialogue, and processes of religious transformation in pluralistic societies. Further, the research area deals with the relation between the world religions and the theme of interreligious dialogue, and also themes such as Islam in Norway, the relation between Islam and Christianity, Christian-Buddhist relations, new religiosity, religion and secularity, and religious education in the multi-cultural school. The field of expertise also includes comparative religious studies in an historical perspective. The main focus is however on the current dynamic meeting between religions and worldviews – locally and globally. As an agent in religious processes of change, the Faculty does not simply want to do inter-religious studies, but also to itself contribute to the living dialogue and necessary reflection around this. In recent years Islamic theology and philosophy have been integrated into the field of interreligious studies.