Religious Studies (MA)
About the Programme
|Tools and Theories in the Study of Religion: Historical, Cognitive, and Social-Scientific Approaches (10 EC)
|Religion on the Move: From Local Origins to Global Networks (10 EC)
Elective (10 EC)
Choose a Specialisation
Elective (10 EC)
Continue a Specialisation
Internship (10 EC)
Independent Project (10 EC)
|Thesis Seminar and Job Market Orientation (5 EC)
For the detailed programme, see the Prospectus.
Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.
About the Compulsory Courses
In this course, students are introduced to a range of contemporary tools for analysing religious narratives and discourses, religious thinking and belief, as well as religious traditions, identities, and fields. These tools are drawn from a wide range of humanistic and social-scientific disciplines, including literary studies, cognitive science, sociology, and history. The theoretical foundations of the analytical tools are discussed and students practice how to use these tools to analyse concrete empirical material.
At its heart, Religion on the Move is a study of how religion more generally has changed due to increasingly expanding global encounters. By combining research from religious studies, history, area studies, anthropology, sociology, and political science, this course shows that the complex processes of globalisation, modernisation, and migration have not only contributed to the movement and expansion of religions, but that religions have been crucial in constructing and confronting these processes. We will consider the success and/or failure of religions in relation to how they move and adapt, and how this relationship corresponds to the iterative process of moving between local origins and global networks. In this context, we will examine the various ways in which religions have adapted when up-rooted and re-rooted in new contexts.
The module Thesis Seminar supports the thesis writing process. It consists of six sessions in which we discuss how to formulate a good research question, how to manage the work process, and how to structure the argument of the thesis. The module also includes an advanced library workshop.
The module Job Market Orientation offers students an overview of the job and career prospects of Religious Studies alumni and stimulates students to reflect on their own skills and ambitions. It consists of three class sessions and two job market workshops which include Religious Studies alumni. Students workshop ideas about their academic skills and virtues, professional trajectories, their C.V.s, their cover letters, their “elevator pitches,” their interview skills, their job offer negotiation skills, their reasoning for getting a PhD and their professional social media profiles while also sharing their job/internship search experiences with their colleagues.
In addition to the compulsory courses, students are able to choose a specialisation. These include:
This specialisation emphasizes religion in historical context, from the ancient world to the present, and with special attention to the development of religion across time. Examples of electives in this specialisation include:
- Christianity, Nationhood, and Citizenship: Historical Perspectives on the Dutch Case (16th Century-Present)
- Coping with Versnel: Debating Ancient Religions
- From Inkwell to Internet: Text and Transmission in the Muslim World
- Jerusalem – City of Grief and Glory
- Early Christianity: Jews, Christians and Pagans in Roman Asia Minor
- Democratizing Histories
This specialisation emphasises religion in relation to politics, law, political-legal systems, international relations, and education. Examples of electives in this specialisation include:
- Religion and Law
- Rethinking Secularism in International Relations
- Philosophy of International Law: Globalisation and Democracy
- Religion, Philosophy and Citizenship in Education
- The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage
- China and Global Cyberspace
This specialisation emphasizes religion in an area studies perspective, with special attention to the movement of ideas and peoples across places, spaces, and contexts. Examples of electives in this specialisation include:
- Pilgrimage and Holy Places
- Confucianism in Context
- Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration Along the Silk Roads in Central Asia
- 'Ulamâ' in the Modern Muslim World
- Muslims in a Global Context: Anthropological Perspectives
- Hands-on Museum Research Experience
Customise your degree
In addition to two foundational ‘core courses’, which focus on methodology and introduce important themes such as modernisation, globalisation, migration, and religious diversity, you are able to choose a specialisation : (1) Religion, History, and Society; (2) Religion, Politics, and Governance; or (3) Religion and Area Studies. Within these specialisations, you can tailor course assignments to focus on specific religions, historical periods, regions, and political situations, as well as more global and theoretical comparisons. Additionally, there is also space in the programme to take an internship or conduct an independent project alongside a member of staff.
Our emphasis is on preparing you to make a difference in your future career, which is why relevant outside issues are constantly shaping what you are studying. External speakers from all sectors regularly give lectures on topical issues. This strong connection to important events, people, and debates happening around us is what helps our students move seamlessly from their degrees into their careers.
Admission and Application
Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?