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Global Christianity


Admission requirements

Students in the BA Religiewetenschappen must have completed ‘Christendom: de Basics’ (Christianity: the Basics).

This course is also open to all students with an academic interest in the subject matter. For those who have little knowledge about Christianity, it is recommended that you read the following book before the course begins: Alister E. McGrath, Christianity: An Introduction, 3rd Edition (2015).


In 1900, Christianity was primarily a Western religion, with over 80 percent of Christians living in Europe or North America. Today, however, Christianity is a truly global religion, with over 60 percent of Christians living in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The course will introduce students to this seismic shift and help develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion that spans the globe and remains highly influential in the twenty-first century.

Alongside a regional survey and analysis of Christianity throughout the globe, the course is enriched with detailed case studies from each region, providing an in-depth and textured understanding of the processes, patterns, and impact of localised expressions of Christianity. The course will also engage the following prominent issues and concepts: secularisation, globalisation, post-colonialism, transnationalism, migration, ethnicity, race, violence, sexuality, and gender. Given the interdisciplinary nature of global Christianity, multiple methodological disciplines and theoretical approaches will be explored, including anthropology, sociology, history, economics, and political science.

Course objectives

Each student who completes the course will:

  • Develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion in the following cultural regions: Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania.

  • Develop an interdisciplinary approach to Global Christianity that takes into account methods and theories from anthropology, sociology, history, political science, and economics.

  • Acquire a factual knowledge of the four major traditions of Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Pentecostal/Charismatic.

  • Be able to explain the major trends and future trajectory of Christianity as a global religion.

Transferable Skills:

  • Develop interdisciplinary skills by critically combining methods and theories from anthropology, sociology, history, political science, and economics.

  • Develop critical skills of analysing complex global patterns by using qualitative and quantitative data and comparing the data with prominent theories (e.g. globalisation, urbanisation, feminist, postcolonial, etc.).

  • Develop written communication skills such as writing reports and short essay responses.

  • Gain basic practical fieldwork skills such as: ‘gaining access’ to communities, taking fieldnotes, and conducting informal interviews.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assesment and weighing

The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of two marks:

  • Field Visits and Field Reports: 40%

  • Final Exam: 60%

NOTE: to pass the course, students must score at least a 4 on each assignment and a minimum weighted average of 5.5 for the final grade..


Students who have participated in all elements of the course, but scored an overall insufficient mark are entitled to a resit. For the Field Reports (40%), students are able to submit resit versions within 10 days of receiving the mark and feedback. For those who fail to submit the reports by the original deadlines, students are given 10 days from the original deadline to submit (this is considered a resit version with no chance of an additional resit). For the Final Exam, students will be given a chance to resit the exam (60%).

Reading list

Charles E. Farhadian, ed. Introducing World Christianity (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).
Introducing World Christianity will be the primary textbook used for the course and is available as an e-book via the university library catalogue. Additional readings will be made available via Blackboard.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory. General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in the context of Contract teaching (including taking examinations), e.g. about costs, registration and conditions.

Exchange students having questions regarding registration, may contact the Humanities International Office.