Prospectus

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Courses

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Compulsory courses

Research in Religious Studies: Methods, Contexts, and Thesis Seminar 5
Comparative Religion: Themes and Topics in the Study of Religion 5/10
Piety, Gender, and Modernity: Anthropological Perspectives 5/10

Religion, Culture and Society

Sociology of Religion 5-10
Philosophy of Religion: Religion and the Natural Sciences 5/10
Ethics and Religion: War and Peace 5/10

Christianity

Global Christianity: the Middle East (1800-present) 5.0/10.0
Nature and Nature’s God: Christian Religion and Natural Phenomena 1500-1830 5

Islam in the Contemporary West

Islamic Jurisprudence for Muslims in Europe: The Role of Fatwas 5/10

Judaism

Jewish Rituals: Circumcision and Ritual Slaughter (MA) 10

Biblical Studies

The archaeology of ancient religions: Paganism, Judaism, Christianity 5
Literature and Religion of Ancient Israel 5

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Second Semester

Compulsory Courses

Research in Religious Studies: Methods, Contexts, and Thesis Seminar 5

Religion, Culture and Society

Psychology of Religion 5/10
Hellenistic Religions: The Lives of Mani, prophet of a world religion 5/10
Religion and Migration 5
Jews, Muslims, Christians Confronting Modernity: Religious Transnationalism 1900-2000 5/10
Sacred Journeys: the Anthropology of Pilgrimage in Europe 5

Christianity

Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Art History and Archaeology of the Christian and Islamic Middle East 10
Jews, Muslims, Christians Confronting Modernity: Religious Transnationalism 1900-2000 5/10

Islam in the Contemporary West

Sharia in the West 5/10
Jews, Muslims, Christians Confronting Modernity: Religious Transnationalism 1900-2000 5/10
`Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World 10

Judaism

Major Trends in Modern Jewish Philosophy 5/10
Jews, Muslims, Christians Confronting Modernity: Religious Transnationalism 1900-2000 5/10

Biblical Studies

Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Hebrew Bible and its Reception 5
Hellenistic Religions: The Lives of Mani, prophet of a world religion 5/10

More info

Objectives
Entry requirements
Programme
Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

Objectives

The Leiden Institute for Religious Studies represents a wide range of teaching and
research interests. The Institute comprises two branches of study:

  • The study of the history of Christianity and Islam from a theological and philological
    approach, and
  • the study of religious phenomena in general from a comparative social-scientific and
    philosophical approach.
    This expertise has been combined in the Master Programme in Religious Studies that
    spans two semesters. Students can choose a Master programme in one of five fields of
    specialization: the Master Tracks.

Entry requirements

Students who have a BA in Theology or World Religions from Leiden University do
not have to apply for admission to the MA in Religious Studies, and will automatically
receive a registration form in June. Students are requested to return the registration form
before August 1, but no later than August 31.

  • BA in Theology or World Religions from Leiden University or equivalent BA degree
    (Religiestudies, Godsdienstwetenschap) from a recognised university.
  • BA degree degree from another relevant discipline (Arts, Social Sciences of History) on
    the condition that they are able to show their knowledge of the field of specialisation is
    sufficient. In some cases knowledge of the original language of a religion is required.
  • Proficiency in English. Non-native English speakers must provide proof of English
    proficiency with the following scores: IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 570/230. Dutch students
    with VWO level English are exempt from this requirement.
  • Students are also expected to meet the admission criteria specific to their chosen
    specialisation. These can be found at the programme descriptions of the specialisations.

Programme

Structure

The programme has seven tracks:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam in the Contemporary West
  • Religion, Culture and Society

All of these tracks contain a number of compulsory elements, including one ‘required
general course.’

The master programmes of the Leiden Institute of Religious Studies have a required
general course, in which topics from the domain of Religious Studies, as well as several
issues pertaining to an academic attitude are discussed. This course, which makes use
of various methods of instruction, continues through two semesters. It aims at training
students in academic skills, so that they are able to conduct research; report about it,
both in writing and speech, in a professionally acceptable and morally responsible
way; and discuss it in a multidisciplinary context. In bi-weekly classroom meetings
per semester, all students come together to hear and discuss topics from the domain of
Religious Studies, approached from interdisciplinary perspectives. There are different
themes for each semester.

The programme consists of the following elements:
5 ec Required general course
5 ec Comparative religion: themes and topics in the study of religion
15 ec core programme, i.e. three courses of the chosen track (3 × 5 ec)
15 ec additional studies/electives
20 ec master thesis

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

All students write a master’s thesis of 20 ec. This thesis amounts to min. 18.000 – max. 20.000 words.
The master’s thesis is written in English, unless the supervisor approves of the use of
another language (which may include Dutch). In all languages, correct use of grammar
and style is expected from the student. Also see: Regulations