Dominican Biblical Institute

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Dominican Biblical Institute
Established 2000
Type Roman Catholic
Director Rev Dr Gerard Norton OP
Location Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland
Affiliations Maynooth College

The Dominican Biblical Institute is a biblical research center in Limerick, Ireland.


The Dominican Province of Ireland founded the DBI in 2000 to engage in advanced biblical research, training and teaching.

The goals of the Dominican Biblical Institute include:

  • to advance biblical research
  • to bring fresh energy to applying the Bible to daily life (lectio divina), thereby bringing biblical research to street level


The Dominican Biblical Institute was very generously funded by the Irish Dominican Province for twelve years. In 2012 the Irish Dominican Friars decided to end its financial and other support for the DBI, once commitments to present students had been honoured.

The Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies is a 3-year, level 6 course, accredited by the St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. A further ten students will be awarded the diploma in autumn 2014, and the final cohort will be awarded the diploma in 2015.

In 2015 the diploma course will end. The ground floor has already (Feb 2014) been leased to another Catholic entity. It is hoped that the remaining floors of the building of the DBI will be leased or sold. The library will be re-allocated to centres where it will be more fit for purpose, although it is hoped that the existing catalogue can be modified to ensure that all books presently in the library will be traced and available to serious researchers. The Dominican Biblical Institute as a company advancing biblical research will end at that stage. The associated centre of studies of the Irish Dominican Province will also come to an end.

Subsequent local biblical and pastoral activities may be based in the Glentworth St Priory.

The current director of the DBI is Fr Gerard J. Norton, OP. He was appointed to the DBI following Thomas L. Brodie's resignation from the role of director. This resignation coincided with the publication of Brodie's 2012 book Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery (Sheffield, 2012. This volume was controversial because endorsed the Christ myth (mythicist)theory and expressed a view that Jesus of Nazareth was not a historical figure. St Paul too is not considered to be historical. Brodie relates that he has held this view since the 1970s.

Following established procedures for the Dominican Order, to which Thomas Brodie has made profession, this book was appraised by the Irish Dominican Province. On appeal by Brodie, the book was further considered by a commission appointed by the Master of the Dominican Order. The view of the commission of the Irish Province, and of the international commission that the book is imprudent and dangerous was confirmed by the Master of the Order. The sanctions unanimously set in place by the Irish Dominican Provincial Council in 2012 were confirmed indefinitely. Thomas Brodie remains a member of the Dominican Order but without permission to preach or teach, minister or write. He has no further association with the Dominican Biblical Institute.


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