Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for the Study of Religion


The Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion (LUCSoR) is part of the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).


Humans have developed religions to make sense of the world and of their own existence, and to structure their societies and assign meaning to the past. We adopt a comparative, multidisciplinary perspective to study the constant changes in the expressions and significance of religion in society.

Context (place, time) and frames of reference (culture, individual sense-making) condition the manifestations of religion and its impact on individuals and society. The expressions and the significance of religion in modern societies have changed dramatically, in our local environment and elsewhere. This is part of the permanent transformation of religion(s).

In illustrating, interpreting, and explaining these dynamics, we adopt a comparative, multidisciplinary perspective. This is made possible by the breadth of relevant expertise at Leiden University, in terms of historical periods and culturally / linguistically / geographically defined places in the world.

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