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Religious Studies: Christianity

In the MA Christianity you will study various expressions of Christianity in past and present from a wide denominational and geographical perspective (both Western and ‘global’ Christianity). Christianity covers a wide variety of ideas, doctrines, ritual and artistic practices, ethical norms and forms of organisation. Strong areas of research in Leiden include: liberal movements in Protestantism, modernism and anti-modernism in the Roman Catholic world, religion and science, African and Chinese Christianity, as well as Eastern Christianity in historical and modern perspectives, both in the Middle East and in its western diaspora.
The focus of the track is on the interface between Christianity and the modern world. Major topics include conversion, inculturation, interreligious and interdenominational rivalries, ‘church and state’ and globalization, the interplay between fundamentalism, millenarianism, and liberalism, identity and migration. You will study the topics in their historical, cultural, social and theological contexts. Our programme will be tailor made according to your wishes, depending on the focus of your interest.

See the “Information” tab for an overview of the programme. The courses below are the courses which are specifically offered for this programme, but they are not necessarily compulsory. More information: Prof.dr. E.G. van der Wall, email e.g.e.van.der.wall@religion.leidenuniv.nl and Prof.dr. H.L. Murre-van den Berg; email: h.l.murre@religion.leidenuniv.nl

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:

Global Christianity: the Middle East (1800-present) 5
Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Religion, art, and identity of Christian societies in the Middle East 10
Self-secularization or the adaptability of Christianity 5-10

Electives

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Klassiek Armeens 5
Archaeology of the Biblical World 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
Literature and Religion of Ancient Israel 5
Philosophy of Religion: Religion and the Natural Sciences 5
Sociology of Religion 5-10
European policies and jurisprudence concerning Muslims and Islam 5
Foundations of Early Christian Tradition 5
Gender and Religion: Engendering the Study of Judaism 5
Jewish Historiography: Israel's New or Post-Zionist Historians and Artists 5
Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 5
Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism: Jewish Mysticism 5
Psychology of Religion 5

Meer info

Information for: 2010-2011

In the MA Christianity you will study various expressions of Christianity in past and present from a wide denominational and geographical perspective (both Western and ‘global’ Christianity). Christianity covers a wide variety of ideas, doctrines, ritual and artistic practices, ethical norms and forms of organisation. Strong areas of research in Leiden include: liberal movements in Protestantism, modernism and anti-modernism in the Roman Catholic world, religion and science, African and Chinese Christianity, as well as Eastern Christianity in historical and modern perspectives, both in the Middle East and in its western diaspora.
The focus of the track is on the interface between Christianity and the modern world. Major topics include conversion, inculturation, interreligious and interdenominational rivalries, ‘church and state’ and globalization, the interplay between fundamentalism, millenarianism, and liberalism, identity and migration. You will study the topics in their historical, cultural, social and theological contexts. Our programme will be tailor made according to your wishes, depending on the focus of your interest.

Programme Structure

This one-year programme consists of 60 ECs (European Credits). The programme structure is printed below. The student’s individual programme is to be put together with one of the supervisors, prof. R.B. ter Haar Romeny or prof. H.L. Murre-van den Berg.

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

*2. Core Courses Christianity in the Modern World (15EC) – choose at least three of the following:

  1. Liberalism, fundamentalism and Western culture (5EC; VdWall)


    1. Global Christianity: The Middle East (1800-present) (5EC; MvdB)
    2. Art, History and Identity of the Communities of the Christian Middle East: (5EC; tHR)
    3. Comparative Religion: Themes and Topics in the Study of Religion (5EC; Hofstee/dJ)

3. Elective Courses (20 EC)
1. tutorial & reading list, expanding one or two of the first three courses above (5-10EC), focussing on a particular region or theme
2. languages courses (i.e., Arabic, Syriac, Coptic, Swahili, etc.; max. 10EC)
3. electives relevant to region or theme of interest (History of the Middle East, Biblical Studies, European History, American History, Religious Studies, Judaism, Islam, etc.; 5-10EC, Religious Anthropology)

4. MA thesis (20 EC)
All students write a MA thesis of 20 EC, on a subject of choice that is approved by one of the supervisors.

Suggestions for personal programs

Liberal movements in European and American Protestantism

  • RGC
  • Core Courses: A1, A4 (10)
  • Electives: B1: tutorial & reading list: A1 (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: European History (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: American History (10EC)
  • Thesis: C (20 EC)

Modernism and anti-modernism in the Roman Catholic world

  • RGC
  • Core Courses: A1, A4 (10)
  • Electives: B1: tutorial & reading list: A1 (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: European History (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: American History (10EC)
  • Thesis: C (20 EC)

Religion and Science: historical perspectives

  • RGC
  • Electives: B1: tutorial & reading list: A1 (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: European History (10EC)
  • Electives: B2: American History (10EC)
  • Thesis: C (20 EC

Syriac Christianity in the Middle East

  • A2, A3, A4 (15)
  • B1: tutorial on A2 (5EC)
  • B2: Arabic and/or Syriac (10 EC)
  • B3: MA course History of the Middle East [check] (5EC)
  • C: thesis

African Christianity

  • RGC
  • A1, A2, A4
  • B1: tutorial on A2 (5Ec)
  • B3: MA-courses on Africa: thematic and regional (15EC)
  • C: thesis

Chinese Christianity

  • RGC
  • A1, A2, A4
  • B1: tutorial on A2 (5Ec)
  • B3: MA-courses on Asian history & religion (15EC)
  • C: thesis

Eastern Christianity in Historical Perspective

  • RGC
  • A2, A3, A4 (15 EC)
  • B1: tutorial on A3 (5 EC)
  • B2: Syriac, Arabic, Coptic and/or Ethiopian (10 EC)
  • B3 one of the following MA courses:
  • Culture and Society in the Medieval Muslim World
  • Hebrew Bible and its Reception
  • Christian and Islamic art and architecture: a heritage of religious interaction in its social and cultural contexts
  • Pilgrimages and Holy Places
  • C: thesis

Eastern Christian Diaspora

  • RGC
  • A2, A3, A4 (15 EC)
  • Religion and the Immigrant Experience (5EC)
  • B2: Syriac, Arabic, Coptic and/or Ethiopian (10 EC)
  • B3 one of the following MA courses (5EC):
  • Culture and Society in the Medieval Muslim World
  • Hebrew Bible and its Reception
  • Christian and Islamic art and architecture: a heritage of religious interaction in its social and cultural contexts
  • Pilgrimages and Holy Places
  • C: thesis

Entry Requirements

BA Religious Studies or Middle Eastern Studies

Supervision

The primary supervisors of the track are prof.dr. E.G.E. van der Wall, prof.dr. H.L. Murre-van den Berg and prof.dr. R.B. ter Haar Romeny, for the specialists see below, under staff.

Staff

prof.dr. E.G.E. van der Wall
prof.dr. H.L. Murre-van den Berg (Christianity in the Middle East)
prof.dr. R.B. ter Haar Romeny (Old Testament and Eastern Christianity)
prof.dr. J. van der Vliet (Coptic)
prof.dr. H.J. Stroomer (Ethiopic)
dr. W.T. van Peursen (Syriac Bible)
dr. M. Immerzeel (Christian Art)