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Religious Studies: Religion in Contemporary Society

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.

First year

Compulsory for all students Religious Students:
1st semester: Workshop Endnote – Master Religious Studies – Wednesday, Ocotber 6, 17.00-19.00 hr, location: library hall.
2nd semester: Workshop ‘Paper Clinics’: date and location to be announced.

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
Psychology of Religion 5
Required General Course Religious Studies 5
Sociology of Religion 5

Elective courses

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Christianity in the Middle East (1800-present) 5
Comparative Religion: Themes and Topics in the Study of Religion 5
Ethics and Religion: Questioning Life and Death 5
Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 5
Philosophy of Religion: Religion and the Natural Sciences 5
Piety, Modernity, and Gender in Islam: Anthropological Perspectives 5
Religion and the immigrant experience 5
Religion, art, and identity of Christian societies in the Middle East 10
The Courage To Be Modern: Religious Liberalisms 1850-1950 5
Translating God(s): Islam and Christianity in Southeast Europe 10

Meer info

Religion, Senesemaking and Spirituality: an approach from the Social Sciences

Introduction

In the 19th and 20th century, a cultural shift took place that is known as The Process of Modernization. This process had an enormous impact on religion.

Traditional, institutionalized religion partly gave way for all kinds of religiosity and spirituality.

In our program we study the impact and nature of religiosity and spirituality from both a sociological and a psychological point of view. We do this in two seminars of 5 ECTS each. The first seminar is focused on the social and cultural aspects: What is sense making? What is religion? How does it function in modern society?

The second deals with psychological aspects: Why and how do people deal with existential issues such as death, freedom, meaninglessness, and what is the relationship with mental health and one’s spiritual development? How do human beings differ in the extent to which they feel connected with others, God, the universe or other unseen or sacred realities? How does religion influence (1) the acquirement of relational outcomes (belongingness, social identity) and (2) social interactions between people (e.g., empathy, moral behavior, ingroup-outgroup thinking).

Supervision

Students are advised to contact Prof. Dr. M.B. ter Borg (M.B.ter.Borg@religion.leidenuniv.nl) or Dr. E.M.de Boer (e.de.boer@religion.leidenuniv.nl) before the start of their master year.

Programme Structure

1. General required course (5 EC)

2. Compulsory courses (15 EC)

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Psychology of Religion
  • Anthropology of Religion

3. Electives (20 EC)
Electives can be chosen to suit the particular interests of the student. Among the options from which a choice can be made in consultation with the faculty, are:

  • Individual supervised study
  • Master course Comparative Religious Studies
  • Master courses offered by the MA track Philosophy and Religion
  • De multireligieuze context van geestelijke verzorging (in Dutch)
  • Classics in the Sociology of Religion and in the Psychology of Religion
  • Leren en Communiceren
  • Master courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences (see website)
  • Stage

4. Thesis (20 EC)
The thesis can be developed under the supervision of Prof. Ter Borg or Dr. de Boer. The topic of the thesis, within the area indicated above, is decided in consultation with the faculty; it can be adapted to suit the interests and needs of the student. A master thesis in this area can be reflective or constructive (Ter Borg) as well as based on empirical study (De Boer).