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First year

The Leiden MA is a one-year programme and consists of 60 ec’s (European Credits).
Compulsory for all students Religious Students: General Required Course.

Students are advised to contact their supervisor well before the start of their master year, so that a suitable programme can be put together in good time: Masterplanning

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
General Required Course Religious Studies 5
MA Thesis Religious Studies 20

Specialisation courses:

Archaeology of the Biblical World 5
Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period: The Jews in Roman Alexandria 5
Literature and Religion of Ancient Israel 5
Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Hebrew Bible and its Reception 5
Hellenistic Religions: The deconstruction and reconstruction of Gnosticism 5


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Klassiek Armeens 5
Comparative Religion: Themes and Topics in the Study of Religion 5
Ethics and Religion: War and Peace 5
Philosophy of Religion: Religion and the Natural Sciences 5
Jewish Culture: The Synagogue. Focus of Jewish Life and Learning 5
Global Christianity: the Middle East (1800-present) 5
Sociology of Religion 5-10
Syrisch II 5

Second semester

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
Psychology of Religion 5
Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism: Jewish Mysticism 5
Religion, art, and identity of Christian societies in the Middle East 10
Syrisch I 5

Meer info

Information for: 2010-2011


Whether you are interested in studying the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament, the fundamental starting point will always be the text itself, profoundly studied in a core programme of philologically and historically oriented courses. Core courses offer the opportunity to make contact with classical problems and learn from the latest theories in research about key issues of textual interpretation. Since texts cannot be understood separately from their context, special attention will be devoted to relevant aspects of Ancient Near East cultures and the Classical World, including material remains and questions of inculturation.

The programme is designed to enable every student to form his or her own opinion based on sound reasoning and solid argumentation.

Programme Structure

The Leiden MA is a one-year programme and consists of 60 ec’s (European Credits). Every student will set up his or her individual programme under the guidance of the MA supervisor. Each programme will consist of the following elements:

1. Common Course (5 EC)
General Required Course for all master students at the Institute for Religious Studies

2. A selection from the following Compulsory Courses (15 EC)

  • Archaeology of the Biblical World (5 ec)

  • Foundations of Early Christian Tradition (Jesus and Paul) (5 ec)

  • Hebrew Bible and Its Reception ion the Hellenistic and Roman Period (5 ec)

  • Hellenistic Religion (5 ec)

  • Literature and Religion of Ancient Israel (5 ec)

  • Judaism in the Greco-Roman World (5 ec)

3. Elective Courses (20 EC)
Leiden University offers a wide range of expertises that are of interest for students of the “Biblical Studies” track. Especially recommendable are courses in classical and ancient Near Eastern languages, literatures and cultures, in papyrology, art or archaeology. Courses in anthropology or sociology can also be an option. The MA supervisor will help each student to put together an individual programme.

4. MA thesis (20 EC)
The MA thesis needs to be written in English and has a minimum of 20.000 words.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the general rules for admission to Leiden University’s MA programme students are expected to possess sufficient knowledge of Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek and the history and development of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.


Prof. dr. Jürgen Zangenberg (, MA supervisor of the track “Biblical Studies”, can be contacted for information and helps to set up an individual study plan for each student.


  • Prof. dr. Ab de Jong (Ancient Religion, Comparative Religious Studies)

  • Prof. dr. Bas ter Haar Romeny (Old Testament and Christianity in Eastern Tradition)

  • Prof. dr. Jürgen K. Zangenberg (New Testament and Early Christian Literature; Archaeology)

  • dr. Johannes Magliano-Tromp (Ancient Judaism)

  • dr. Wido van Peursen (Old Testament)