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First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Both semesters

General Required Course Religious Studies 5
MA Thesis Religious Studies 20

First semester

Interpreting Islam: contemporary ijtihad in economics and biomedical ethics 5
Islamic Jurisprudence for Muslims in Europe: The Role of Fatwas 5

Second semester

European policies and jurisprudence concerning Muslims and Islam 5


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Anthropology of Muslim Societies 10
Text and Transmission 10
Theories and Methods of Middle East and Islamic Studies 10
Global Christianity: the Middle East (1800-present) 5
Comparative Religion: Themes and Topics in the Study of Religion 5
Ethics and Religion: War and Peace 5
Jewish Culture: The Synagogue. Focus of Jewish Life and Learning 5
Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period: The Jews in Roman Alexandria 5
Philosophy of Religion: Religion and the Natural Sciences 5
Sociology of Religion 5-10
Culture and Society in the Medieval Muslim World 10
Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Gender and Religion: Engendering the Study of Judaism 5
Hellenistic Religions: The deconstruction and reconstruction of Gnosticism 5
Jewish Historiography: Israel's New or Post-Zionist Historians and Artists 5
Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 5
Piety, Modernity, and Gender in Islam: Anthropological Perspectives 5
Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism: Jewish Mysticism 5
Religion, art, and identity of Christian societies in the Middle East 10
Psychology of Religion 5
Self-secularization or the adaptability of Christianity 5-10

Meer info

Islamic Theology is a Master programme offered the Leiden Institute of Religious Studies. This one-year Master programme focuses on the study of contemporary Islam. The focus is predominantly theological, but the legal, ethical, political, historical and sociological backgrounds of the staff members provide for a variety of interdisciplinary approaches. In addition to required courses, the students are expected to develop their own lines of research based on primary sources.


The main focus of the programme is on the study of religion, i.e. Islam, its history and its significance today, with emphasis on Islam in the Western context.


The programme (60 EC) consists of the following elements:

1. General required course (5 EC)

2. Compulsory courses (15 EC)
Three courses of the chosen track

3. Additional courses/electives (20 EC)

4. MA thesis (20 EC)
All students write a master’s thesis of 20 ects. This thesis amounts to about 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:

The programme also stimulates students to undertake research-internships, for instance by conducting researches for the benefit of media, municipalities or religious institutions. The electives can be taken in different forms, to be agreed between student and professor.

Staff and supervision

The primary supervisors are:

Prof.dr. mr. M.S. Berger, personal website

Dr. M.M.M.I. Ghaly, personal website

Dr. U. Ryad, personal website

MA Religious Studies: Islam in the Contemporary West

Students with an interest in a more sociological approach towards Islam in Europe might opt for admission to the Religious Studies: Islam in the Contemporary West programme. The programme is interdisciplinary and makes use of the instruments of philology, history, and social sciences (especially of the anthropology, sociology and psychology of religion).

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. M.S. Berger, email:

Entry requirements

BA degree in Islamic Theology or an equivalent degree (including Arabic) from another recognized university; proficiency in Arabic is required. English proficiency (IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 570/230) for international students (non-native speakers of English) is required.