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Global Transformations


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Theology and Religious Studies programme.


Global Transformations is a study of how the course of religion has changed due to increasingly expanding contacts and confrontations between differing cultures globally. The course is divided over two blocks: the first block takes an historical perspective and studies the rise and expansion of two religions from the Middle East that had their greatest successes far away from their place of origin: Manichaeism and the Bahá’í Faith.
The second block looks at the contemporary world on the basis of two related case studies: Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism, which have spread from the West all over the world. The two cases are similar, but they have localized differently as a result of different institutional practices. In the case of Pentecostalism, which has a very fluid institutional structure, Pentecostals in the non-Western world are now involved in a concerted effort of what is called “reverse mission”, which seeks to Christianize the secular West.

Course objectives

  • Insight in the historical and contemporary dynamics of the development of religions

  • Insight in the ways in which religions have moved historically – through migration, mission, expansion – and are moving currently in a globalizing world

  • Critical skills of analyzing complex global patterns by using historical, qualitative and quantitative data and comparing the data with prominent theories

  • Develop the highest level of academic communication skills – both oral and written


The timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar. Attendance and participation are mandatory. Classes may be missed no more than twice and only in exceptional circumstances (at the discretion of the conveners and only with prior notice). Absence without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

This is a 10 EC course and during the weeks we meet together we will have 3 contact hours.

Lectures: 3 hours a week x 13 weeks = 39 hours
Preparation: 6 hours a week x 12 weeks = 72 hours
Four 1,500 word essays = 80 hours
Oral presentation = 14 hours
Final paper = 75 hours

Assessment method


Four small essays
Oral presentation
Final paper


Essays = 40 %
Oral presentation = 10 %
Final paper = 50 %


Resit is not possible for the oral presentation; resit for the other components is identical to the first possibility

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used as a repository of information on the course, materials from the teaching sesssion, discussion forum, medium of communication between participants and for the sending in of written work through Turnitin.

Reading list



Students are required to register through uSis


Dr. C.L. Williams

Prof. Dr. A.F. de Jong