Universiteit Leiden

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Religious Studies (MA)

The MA Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective.

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Why study Religious Studies at Leiden University?

This one-year MA programme offers you the best of Leiden University, from outstanding teachers to world-class resources including its library's famous collections. A comparative approach is taken to the study of theories and concepts, which are applied to real-world empirical findings. Topics are explored from a wide range of disciplines from history to sociology.

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Customise your degree

The multidisciplinary programme offers an expansive curriculum through which you can explore religion as well as tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You will be able to choose between two specialisations:

Religion, Culture and Society is unique for its wide spectrum of religions and themes including modernisation and globalisation. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on skills, tools, methods and theories. You will be equipped with everything needed to analyse situations and tackle problems in society at large. Our staff members are specialised in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Religious movements.

Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity focuses on the changing role of Christianity and the impact of biblical criticism, modern historical scholarship, science and cultural transfers. What makes this specialisation particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. You will study secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.

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An individual approach

At Leiden, you are treated as a valued member of a tight-knit academic community. Small classes create an informal atmosphere and provide the opportunity to interact with lecturers. You will develop advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any societal issue.

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Religious Studies degree

Religious Studies at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in Religious Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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