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Theology & Religious Studi…×

Masters Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies, Netherlands

We have 14 Masters Degrees in Theology & Religious Studies, Netherlands

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Religion and culture form a challenging field of interdisciplinary study. This Research Master's offers you a thorough training in the sub disciplines of theology and religious studies. Read more
Religion and culture form a challenging field of interdisciplinary study. This Research Master's offers you a thorough training in the sub disciplines of theology and religious studies.

The programme is a mix of a compulsory foundation and an individual route in which you can specialize further in terms of both content and methodology. In the core modules, you learn to define your own position as a junior researcher. We offer you an unique approach to the study of religion. Pluralism, for example, is an important characteristic of all our research. In the study of the three monotheistic religions, considerable attention is paid to alternative movements. We research how religion is embedded in culture. The global and diachronic perspective of our research is also represented. It is important to conduct research not only from Western and modern perspectives, but also from other cultural and historical ones.

The individual route comprises three elements: electives , research traineeships, and writing a thesis and a research proposal. The electives are designed to equip you with in-depth knowledge of specialized subjects, together with subject-specific skills and methodological knowledge. The final specialization occurs in the Research Master's thesis, which forms the basis of a PhD thesis proposal or an application for research funding.

The programme is offered in English.

Degree: MA in Theology & Religious Studies (research)

Why in Groningen?

• The strongest theological and religious studies degree programme in the Netherlands
• Best Research Master's programme in the Humanities in The Netherlands
• Top 100 university
• Taught by leading experts with a world-class reputation
• A highly stimulating learning environment
• Students can follow their own research interests
• Focus on the dynamic relationships between religion, culture and society

Job perspectives

A degree in Theology and Religious Studies (research) provides a perfect background for:
- admission to PhD programmes at national and international institutes and universities;
- positions outside academia for which academic research skills are required;
- positions as civil servant, advisor or policymaker with local and national government;
- teaching positions.

Job examples

• PhD position
• Independent scholar
• Secondary education teacher
• Civil servant or policy advisor at national or local government
• Position in publishing

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Providing meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith. The contemporary world is characterised by rapid innovations in science and technology. Read more
Providing meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith.

The contemporary world is characterised by rapid innovations in science and technology. These developments contribute to economic growth and prosperity, but simultaneously require positioning, and specifically people who can provide meaning and direction. Theologians are those people, as they are trained in systematic reflection of fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith. They can contribute to the dialogue between believing and knowing.

Radboud University aims to train such theologians. The central focus in the three-year Master's programme in Theology is on the tension between universal truth claims within belief systems and the diverse cultural contexts in which they are expressed. We are concerned with how the Christian faith addresses matters in society at large and with the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines. Christian engagement requires an intellectual as well as a practical basis. We therefore seek to provide academic rigor to the conception of theology. It's about contributing to the welfare of society by drawing on the insights, resources and compassionate values of the Christian faith.

Graduates of the Master’s programme in Theology are employed in various leadership positions in dioceses, religious congregations, universities and colleges. In a globalising world more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics.

From broad to specialisation

Master’s students can choose to specialise in one of four disciplines of theology or to take a general theology programme in which all four disciplines are studied.

Specialisations:

History of Church and Theology
Analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, to better understand Christian belief in contemporary society. (Church History, Historical Theology, Canon Law)

Biblical Exegesis
Words, texts and meaning: Investigating the Old Testament and the New Testament in their historical contexts.

Practical Theology
Searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity. (Pastoral Theology, Missiology, Liturgical Studies, Intercultural Theology)

Systematic Theology
Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. (Fundamental Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Theological Ethics, Spirituality, Philosophy of Religion, Feminist Theology)

Graduates of the Master’s programme in Theology can specifically train to become researchers, policy makers, educators, pastoral care workers or spiritual counsellors. Other professions upon graduation include pastoral worker, journalist, curator and archivist.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/theology

Why study Theology at Radboud University?

- Students can choose a broad programme or choose to specialise in one of the four disciplines of Theology (Literary, Systematic or Practical Theology or Church History).
- With electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Theology at Radboud University is a truly international Master's programme; many of our staff, students and alumni come from outside the Netherlands. We also cooperate with universities abroad in Kenya, Tanzania, India and Indonesia.
- The majority (88%) of our students graduate. This is because our staff knows how to motivate through excellent education and intensive supervision. As a Master's student you will have a personal tutor and you will work in an inspiring environment with excellent researchers.
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Theologians know how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sounds judgements which will help them participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way the Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Our research in this field

Among the Theology staff there is a large variety of expertise; research is being conducted in all four disciplines of Theology. Staff members apply their latest research and those of their colleagues to their seminars.

- Church History
The research group Church History and the History of Christianity studies the history of Christians on the basis of historical methods and in critical deliberation with the other disciplines within theology and religious studies. They are primarily concerned with the historical questions of discipline and repression.

- Literary Theology
The research group Textual Sources of Judaism and Christianity focuses on the foundational texts of Judaism and Christianity: the Bible and texts that originated in the Jewish and Christian traditions of the first centuries of our calendar.

- Practical Theology
The research of the chair Empirical and Practical Religious Studies is conducted along two lines. The first is the transformation of life stories, discourse and transmission of religious and spiritual identity. The second line investigates the transformation of religion in processes of migration and conflict. Migration results in interaction between individuals with different religious identities and spiritualities.

- Systematic Theology
The research group Systematic Religious Studies also carries out research in the theological field and is concerned with issues relating to public theology. Accordingly, the research covers questions as, for example, whether the public sphere can be a locus of theology or whether theology can seriously contribute to cultural, political, or economic debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/theology

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Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. What is the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines in today’s society? Systematic theology deals in general with the meaning and implications of Christian doctrines. Read more

Master's specialisation in Systematic Theology

Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.

What is the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines in today’s society? Systematic theology deals in general with the meaning and implications of Christian doctrines. At Radboud University, we add the unique focus of public theology. Public theology isn't about promoting the interests of 'the Church' but rather, about drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.
Currently, the secularisation thesis is strongly under review. On the one hand, the orientation of affluent societies has become secular even though the world as a whole is no less religious than before. On the other hand, there also seems to be a post-secular movement and a revival of religion in many societies. At Radboud University we look at these, and other developments in the public domain. What new forms of spirituality are kindled in society? How are morals changing?

By engaging with readings from both classical and contemporary theologians, and active discussions in the seminars, students learn how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Graduates of the Master’s specialisation in Systematic Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology

Why study Systematic Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University offers a unique set of subjects within Systematic Theology which includes philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies as well as the more conventional subjects fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics.
- The central focus of this specialisation lies on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development within theology in which issues and debates in society are studied as possible ways of thinking about God.
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.
- Thanks to electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

This programme is aimed at enhancing students’ capacity for theological reflection so they can confidently enter the public area where debates on issues as atheism, post-secularism and science come into play. Therefore graduates can participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. As a graduate of Systematic Theology, you will change the perspective of others and give meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area

2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- A TOEFL score of >550 (paper based) or >213 (computer based) or >80 (internet based)
- An IELTS score of >6.0
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Theologians know how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sounds judgements which will help them participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way the Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

Systematic theology has a long-standing tradition in subjects as fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics. At Radboud University the set of subjects of systematic theology is extended to include interesting domains such as philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies. The central focus in all of these is on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development in theology. It seeks to provide resources for people to make connections between their faith and the practical issues facing society.

Horizons of thinking towards God
In public theology, actual developments and debates in society are studied as possible horizons of thinking towards God. Two types of questions are investigated as they provide reference points in this search:
1. How are questions of meaning of life addressed in our societies and cultures?
2. How can a "viable civil society" be envisioned in our time?

In searching for answers to these questions, special attention is given to intercultural and cross-cultural debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology

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This course is about searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity. Read more

Master's specialisation in Practical Theology

This course is about searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity.
Have God and religion disappeared from modern society? According to some scholars of religion there is a global resurgence of religion, yet there is vast secularisation in most European societies continues. How can theology explain the transformation of the Christian religion in society? We need fresh expressions of theological concepts and new methods of research to understand religion beyond traditional studies of religiosity.
In the Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology, students are introduced in theological theory-building to understand the dynamics and meaning of lived religion at four different levels: the personal, inter-group relations, organisational and societal. Students learn to use empirical research methods to build new theological theory based on lived religion. Graduates of this Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/practicaltheology

Why study Practical Theology at Radboud University?

- The new theoretical approach of Practical Theology at Radboud University manifests itself in the search for theological concepts that match the changing shape of the Christian religion in the life of individuals as well as fresh expressions of religious institutions.
- Our department has constructed new, unique methodologies that focus on a qualitative study of narratives, communication, and ritual (liturgy). We have expertise in spiritual biographical research, practice-oriented research and discourse analysis.
- We have a long-standing expertise in survey research, with a specialisation in cross-religious surveys where Christian believers are compared with believers of other religions (Islam, Hinduism).
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe, but also places developments in a global perspective.
- With electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

Graduates of Practical Theology will be able to pinpoint how certain groups of people view spirituality today, how they give meaning to lives and how this, sometimes, is at odds with traditional religious conventions. You will get insight in the different forms that religion takes in contemporary society and will be able to take that on board when participating in debates in the public arena.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area

2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- An TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90 (internet based)
- A IELTS score of >6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Practical theologians search for traces of meaning in everyday practices and look beyond traditional forms of religiosity. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sound judgments which will help them participate in debates in the public arena. Using arguments based on Christian faith, they can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way that Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology is all about studying lived religion and lived spirituality. How do people today connect with Christian stories? The role of practical theologians is to research new religious motives. Where and in what way do people find inspiration? How do they give meaning to their lives?

Searching for new forms of religiosity
In other words, at Radboud University, we train our practical theologians to search for new forms of religiosity in order to gain an understanding of the transformation of religion. The church is not the only place for contemplation; sometimes people turn to the beach, the woods or even a health club. Symbols are given new meanings. Metaphors get a different connotation. The challenge is to deal with the tension between religious traditions and the many contemporary forms of spirituality.

We look at the role that religion and spirituality play, not only for individual people, but also for inter-group relationships and on organisational and societal levels. We try to get a grasp on differences between religious practices, how faith schools profile their religious character in their education policy, and how municipalities give religion a place in the services they offer, among other topics.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/practicaltheology

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The master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective. Read more

The master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective.

A comparative approach

This one-year MA programme offers you the best of Leiden University, from outstanding teachers to world-class resources including its library's famous collections. A comparative approach is taken to the study of theories and concepts, which are applied to real-world empirical findings. Topics are explored from a wide range of disciplines from history to sociology.

Customise your degree

The multidisciplinary programme offers an expansive curriculum through which you can explore religion as well as tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You will be able to choose between two specialisations:

Religion, Culture and Society is unique for its wide spectrum of religions and themes including modernisation and globalisation. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on skills, tools, methods and theories. You will be equipped with everything needed to analyse situations and tackle problems in society at large. Our staff members are specialised in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Religious movements.

Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity focuses on the changing role of Christianity and the impact of biblical criticism, modern historical scholarship, science and cultural transfers. What makes this specialisation particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. You will study secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.

An individual approach

At Leiden, you are treated as a valued member of a tight-knit academic community. Small classes create an informal atmosphere and provide the opportunity to interact with lecturers. You will develop advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any societal issue.



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The impact of Christianity on society can be felt around the world - in international politics, economy, arts and cultural ideologies. Read more
The impact of Christianity on society can be felt around the world - in international politics, economy, arts and cultural ideologies. The opposite is true as well. Christianity and society thus mutually shape and guide each other, with implications for the lives of people everywhere in the world.

In this Master's program you will study this complex interaction from both sides: how Christianity influences society and how society has an effect on the tenets, organization and practices of Christianity.

The program is taught cooperatively by Christian theologians, sociologists, economists, law specialists and philosophers from different Tilburg University Schools.

Christianity and Society

Are you fascinated by religion and by Christianity in particular? Have you ever wondered what the impact of Christianity is on society, or how society influences Christianity? Would you like to study this topic in depth with students from around the world? Then Christianity and Society is the program for you!

Learn how Christianity influences law, politics, economics, modern art, science, and world religions:
In this program you will learn how Christianity influences law, politics, economics, modern art, science, and world religions. At the same time, you will study the effects that society has on the history, sociology and theology of the Christian faith. In this way, Christianity and society mutually shape and guide each other, with implications for the lives of people everywhere in the world.

You will benefit from:
•expert knowledge of highly qualified lecturers, 75 percent of whom are full professors;
•a multidisciplinary program taught by theologians, sociologists, economists, law specialists and philosophers;
•small classes (on average 5-10 students), allowing for individual attention and personal contact with fellow students and teachers; and
•an international classroom with students from various countries, religions and academic backgrounds, ensuring a lively and balanced dialogue.

You will become adept at:
•high-level philosophical questioning and debating;
•analyzing and reflecting on current theological and societal issues;
•understanding and solving problems in multidisciplinary contexts;
•writing clear academic papers and presenting them to an audience; and
•working in a self-directed and independent way.

After graduation

Upon graduation, you will be an expert on the relations between Christianity and society in multiple fields of study. You will be able to use your expertise in advisory or management roles in religious organizations and churches, in government organizations and in NGOs. You will also be able to apply your academic knowledge in the fields of media, politics and economic relations.

Low tuition fees and all academic disciplines are eligible
•Students from all academic disciplines or backgrounds can apply for this Master’s program, provided that you have successfully completed your Bachelor's degree at an accredited research university.
•Students who do not hold a Bachelor’s degree from a research university can apply for a six-month Pre-Master’s program taught in English.
•Christianity and Society has lower tuition fees than other Master’s programs at Tilburg University. Moreover, scholarships are available to enable students from all economic backgrounds to participate in this graduate program.

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Looking around the world today, it is clear that religion plays a role in many of the major conflicts going on at various levels. Read more
Looking around the world today, it is clear that religion plays a role in many of the major conflicts going on at various levels. Furthermore religion plays an important role in people's lives worldwide, and has become one of the major ways people connect with each other across the globe. However, the persistence and prominence of the role of religion in contemporary societies is still not sufficiently understood in academic research and in the work of policy-makers, NGO's and journalists.

This master's track addresses the pivotal place of religion in the dynamics of globalization and conflict that shape present-day societies. The programme is interdisciplinary, examining political, social, psychological and cultural dimensions. You will learn to:

• investigate the consequences of globalization for religious practices and individual, ethnic and national identities
• understand the relationship between religion, conflict and peace-building
• analyse national and international conflicts, and learn how they are interwoven with religious interests and opinions

You can specialize in either conflict and peacebuilding, migration or gender

Degree: MA in Theology & Religious Studies

Why in Groningen?

• The combination of anthropology, sociology and political science is unique in the world.
• Rated the best Master's programme in Theology & Religious Studies in the Netherlands.
• Top 100 university
• Relates latest research and theories to current developments.
• Vibrant research tradition with international links.
• Internships at embassies, ministry of foreign affairs, international NGO's.
• Taught by leading experts with a world-class reputation.
• You can follow your own research interests.

Job perspectives

With your degree, you can advise or write policy documents on different subjects, such as, developmental assistance or multicultural society. You could work for the government, in business or at an NGO. You may also work in the media or as a teacher of religion in secondary education. Would you like to stay in academia, you can choose to apply for a place on the Research Master after your regular Master's programme. You can complete this two-year programme in one year.

Job examples

- Consulting & Policy
In a globalizing world, national and international conflicts are farreaching.There is a need for experts who can explain and help solve these conflicts. With your degree, you can advise or write policy documents on different subjects, such as developmental assistance or multicultural society. You could work for the government, in business or at an NGO. More specifically, this could mean working for the think-tank of a political party, for the Netherlands Institute for Social Research or for the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

- Media & Journalism
Religion is in the news every day, often in a negative way, from terrorism to integration issues. With your expertise in the field of religion and conflict, you can intensify the debate in society and, where necessary, add some nuance to the picture. You can put your knowledge into practice as an editor at a publishing company, a broadcasting company, a newspaper or a current affairs magazine.

- Education
You will have enough knowledge of the subject to teach Religious Studies and Philosophy or Social Studies in secondary education. You could also opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

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How did the ancient Romans view religious-political differences? How did ancient Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities use authoritative texts? What potential for pluralism exists in modern monotheisms and secularisms?. Read more
How did the ancient Romans view religious-political differences? How did ancient Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities use authoritative texts? What potential for pluralism exists in modern monotheisms and secularisms?

Tension between group solidarity and productive relations with ' others' has been part of human history for as long as evidence exists. In Europe it has played out most enduringly in relations among the monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Today, in the face of mass migration from Muslim regions, questions of political identity and belonging remain bound up with religious affiliation. This one-year degree programme focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the antique world and how these relations have formed our modern society. We will explore concepts as religious pluralism, politics, and their many interfaces globally in particular.

In this track within the Master's Programme in Theology & Religious Studies, you will:
* examine the literary sources of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in a historically informed way in order to bring critical perspectives to modern interpretations;
* identify continuing issues in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic self-definition, toleration of difference, and exclusionary or conversionist tendencies;
* map a range of ancient possibilities for coexistence or conviviality and their opposites under changing conditions.

Why Groningen?

• rated best Master's programme in Theology & Religious Studies in the Netherlands
• top 100 university
• integrated approach of religious pluralism, politics, and their many global interfaces
• focus on historical context of modern societies
• taught by internationally recognized experts in the field
• opportunity to pursue your own research interests

Job perspectives

As a graduate you can become an adviser and policymaker on interreligious issues and multicultural society. You may work in cultural organisations and companies in the public sector. In addition, you can work in the media. You can become a teacher of religion or philosophy. If you want to pursue an academic career, you can follow this track as a specialization within the research Master's programme.

Job examples

• Consulting & Policy
You are able to provide well-founded advice on interreligious issues and multicultural society. You can use this expertise in an advisory position at cultural organizations, in companies or in the public sector. Your knowledge equips you for policymaking positions in this field.

• Media & Journalism
The current debate often refers to perceived historical realities. Your expertise in the formative periods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam enables you to ask critical questions concerning modern-day claims about these religious traditions. You can use your knowledge and skills as an editor at a publishing company, broadcasting company, newspaper or news and current affairs magazine. You could also work as a freelancer.

• Education
Once you have completed this Master's programme you will have enough knowledge of the subject to become a secondary school teacher in the subject of Religious Studies and Philosophy or Social Studies. You could also opt for a position in higher vocational education, for example teaching Theology at a university of applied sciences. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

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Are you fascinated by history and culture? Want to help shape today's cultural landscape? Find out what defines “heritage”? Learn how museums plan exhibitions or how heritage policies are created?. Read more
Are you fascinated by history and culture? Want to help shape today's cultural landscape? Find out what defines “heritage”? Learn how museums plan exhibitions or how heritage policies are created?

Memory produces identity. That is why heritage is crucial for our sense of continuity in rapidly changing societies.Governments, national and international organizations need to make sense of the past as they make policies for and invest in heritage. The aim of this master's degree is to give you the theoretical and practical education necessary to take an active role in this exciting and growing field.

Why study heritage at a faculty of Theology and Religious Studies? Because most of the heritage around us stems, one way or another, from religious practices and ideas. If you want to understand heritage in all its facets, you want to study with experts who know the full story behind material and intangible heritages both locally and abroad.

The track Religion and Cultural Heritage in the Master's Programme in Theology and Religious Studies combines broad cultural competence with a high-level academic research training and the practical skills relevant for today's job market. Through concrete projects and internships, you can gain hands-on experience in the field.

Why Groningen?

• rated best Master's programme in Theology & Religious Studies in the Netherlands
• top 100 university
• unique focus on religion within the field of cultural heritage
• combination of broad cultural competence and academic research skills with practical skills relevant for job market;
• strong heritage region
• excellent network for internships
• taught by internationally recognized experts in the field
• vibrant research hub with global links

Job perspectives

You can advise or write policy documents on heritage subjects, such as the preservation of old churches or the distribution of funding for cultural activities. You could work for cultural organisations, the government, in the tourist business or at an NGO. You may also work in the media or as a teacher of religion in secondary education after completing your Educational Master's programme.

Would you like to stay in academia, you can choose to apply for a placement in the Research Master.

Job examples

• Cultural Education
You can work within organizations that consult upon the content and organization within the field of arts and cultural education. Or you could work at an educational department within institutions such as a cultural centers or museums.

• Consulting & Policy
Your knowledge about religious heritage will enable you to advise upon or write policy documents on the conservation of religious heritage. You could find a job with central government but also at organizations and foundations in the cultural sector. This could, for example, be the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht or the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken.

• Education
Once you have completed this Master's track, you will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to teach Religious Studies or Social Studies in secondary education. Alternatively, you could opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher or lecturer, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

• Media & Journalism
A number of publishers have shown renewed interest in religion and society. With your knowledge and skills, you can make an expert contribution to publications in this field. You could also use your expertise as an editor at a broadcasting company, newspaper or current affairs magazine.

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How is meaning attributed to biblical texts? By following Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis you will be well-equipped with analytical instruments to discern the crucial decision points in giving meaning in a text. Read more

Master's specialisation in Biblical Exegesis

How is meaning attributed to biblical texts? By following Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis you will be well-equipped with analytical instruments to discern the crucial decision points in giving meaning in a text. Core concepts in Bible texts are explored in connection to their cultural and historical context.
Students will also investigate and discuss the relation between Bible texts and ethics. How do the texts aim to change the behaviour of their readers? These texts are a crucial point of reference for theological reflection and provide direction in contemporary society and church.
Students are expected to read the Old Testament and the New Testament in their original languages and will be taught to understand these books in the original context in which they were written. They will be handed the necessary tools to study the biblical texts, focussing on such aspects as grammar, sentence structure, literary devices and plot construction. And since these texts function in distinct cognitive environments, students will get acquainted with various ancient Near Eastern and ancient Eastern Mediterranean frameworks of experiencing and thinking.
Although heavily focussed on the Old and New Testament, students will learn skills that can be used to analyse any kind of text. This programme can therefore be compared to other academic literary subjects in that students are taught the general skills of literary criticisms as well as contextualisation. Important to note is the academic approach; students will be able to critically and thoroughly analyse texts. Graduates of Biblical Exegesis will be able to provide explanations and give meaning to the foundational texts of Judaism and Christianity, whether they do that in their role as researcher, spiritual caregiver, pastoral care worker, journalist, policy maker, or educator.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biblicalexegesis

Why study Biblical Exegesis at Radboud University?

- This Master’s specialisation offers a beautiful mix of literary criticism and theological reflection.
- A distinctive characteristic of Biblical Exegesis at Radboud University is the unique combination of cognitive linguistics with literary criticism.
- Attention is equally given to both the Old and the New Testament and the relationship between their language, cultural framework and historical context.
- Thanks to electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (History of Church and Theology, Practical or Systematic Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

Students of the Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis are taught critical engagement with the Bible. Engagement because students are invited to involve themselves in these texts and in their academic examination. Critical because the analyses will often open up their minds to the fact that Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretations have developed over time, sometimes in ways that distance themselves from the biblical texts’ meanings in their original contexts. Students will get an in-depth understanding of Christian traditions and values and will be encouraged to analyse them thoroughly. They will come to understand that things came to be as they are due to choices made in the past. Students will see that both Bible and tradition have been and will be formative for our present engagements.

Career prospects

In a globalising world more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Biblical Exegesis students know how to analyse important texts. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the strong empirical skills to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way Christian doctrine can give meaning contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts that are analysed in this Master’s specialisation found their origin in cultures of the ancient Near East and the ancient Eastern Mediterranean. These cultures differ greatly from our present day cultures. It is, therefore, a challenging task to understand the meanings of these texts in their contexts of origin and their original conceptual frameworks, to acknowledge their textual composition and aims, as well as their intended social and religious functions. It requires linguistic, literary, cultural, social, ethical, historical, and hermeneutical research. That is why the development and application of research methods plays such an important role in biblical exegesis.

How is meaning is attributed?
In the Master’s specialisation in Biblical Exegesis, students learn how to apply the instruments of textual explanation at an advanced level. Both diachronic analysis (text criticism, historical linguistics) and synchronic analysis (literary criticism) are taught and applied. The central question students engage with is how meaning is attributed in a text. Students will therefore become well equipped to discern the crucial decision points in attributing meaning.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biblicalexegesis

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This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society. Read more

Master's specialisation in History of Church and Theology

This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society.
How have Christians through the ages given meaning and expression to their ideas and expectations? How have they explained the meaning of Jesus Christ’s life, both within their own community and to outsiders? Students of the Master’s specialisation in Church History are trained to investigate historical developments with a critical and analytical eye. A historical analysis is important as it can also expose the “roots” of current issues and situations. That knowledge, in turn, can help us understand the present better and even help find solutions to problems contemporary societies face today.
The Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology is unique in that it combines the study of the history of Christianity with the study of the juridical system of the Roman Catholic Church. What happens when people do not comply with societal norms? Students are trained in systematic historical research. They will learn how to interpret historical sources from throughout the ages, by analysing them in the context of the culture and values of the era in which they were produced.
Graduates of this Master’s specialisation can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers. Careers as journalists, museum curators, librarians and archivists are also possible.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology

Why study History of Church and Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology distinguishes itself by combining the study of the history of Christianity with Canon Law. Thereby creating a unique outlook on the interrelatedness of the development of Canon Law and both formal and informal practices.
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.
- . Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Biblical Exegesis, Practical or Systematic Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology. However, with electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests
- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing ample opportunities for questions and discussions.
- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

History is not a fixed entity. Re-examining long-existing sources could lead to new insights on the course of events. Students will understand that what we now consider a significant event was not always so, and students are given the tools to discover "axioms of the past" so they can better understand pivotal moments in history. Students will learn to make sound historical analyses by taking asking new questions concerning familiar sources, by analysing long forgotten sources and by re-examining sources within the relevant cultural context. Their analyses could shed new light on historical events and give us new insights on current societal and cultural issues.

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Church historians have in-depth knowledge of Canon Law and the history of Christian beliefs and doctrines. They can analyse historical developments and are able distinguish when people use historic events to suit their purpose and contradict them when necessary. In addition, the programme teaches students how to think independently and critically about the way Church History and Canon Law can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology strongly enhances career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year, of the following options: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

How has Christianity gained stability and continuity as a religion? How has the religion sustained itself during changing social and cultural contexts? The answers to these questions can be found in the history of Christianity – in all of its diversity. This course delves deeper than the ‘official’ developments. and lesser known interpretations of history are investigated in this Master’s specialisation. Special attention is also given to ‘suspicious’ Christians as well as how the Church authorities dealt with dissenting ideas and practices. The interplay between authority and religious practices teaches us about how we got to where we are today.

A complex conjunction of events
Students are not limited to analysing a unidirectional, causal reconstruction of events . No single factor determines the course of history, as it is often a complex conjunction of events. Thus, students are encouraged to situate historical texts and developments in their cultural context – an issue often forgotten in public debates. Methodologically, students are encouraged to connect discourse analysis and a historically sound hermeneutic source criticism. To this effect, students are trained in systematic historical research, by using both diachronic and synchronic research methods.

Master’s students are encouraged to elaborate their own ideas and proposals within our research programme. The number of possible research topics is endless. Students may look at any historical religious conflict or a political conflict and its effect on religion. Topics that have been researched in the past include the forced baptisms of Jews, Augustine and infant education, the development of the sacrament of confession and the role of women in Cathar communities, to list a few.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology

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Ritual in Society is a renewed, fully English-taught Master's specialization within the Master's program Culture Studies. Rituals are indispensable for human beings, in past and present. Read more
Ritual in Society is a renewed, fully English-taught Master's specialization within the Master's program Culture Studies.

Rituals are indispensable for human beings, in past and present. The important moments in human life are always highlighted by rituals. In addition to ritual’s traditional function of marking key moments in human life, people assign great value to rituals as instruments to achieve social cohesion, as means of coping with grief and bereavement, and as powerful tools to remember the past. Apart from such a predominantly positive use of rituals, it should be noted that ritual is also a contested phenomenon. Ritual is all about inclusion and exclusion and about power and display in the public domain. Moreover, ritual is dynamic and fluid; it is an excellent gauge of cultural diversity and societal developments. Therefore, the study of ritual is of vital importance for understanding society.

Your lecturers are nationally and internationally renowned scholars who will introduce you to the field of ritual studies on the basis of their own research. They will present to you both the state of the art in ritual studies as well as the most recent developments in their various disciplines. The MA in Ritual in Society offers you a unique, multidisciplinary program with a focus on ritual dynamics in contemporary Europe with regular forays into the global context.

Career Perspective Ritual in Society

The program offers a Master’s career to prepare students for jobs in areas ranging from research to the world of travel and tourism (travel agencies) and from education to consultancy and management. The program will have an explicit international orientation so students are expected to find jobs in the labor market in a variety of countries in Europe and beyond. More specifically, Ritual in Society prepares you for jobs in fields like:
•Research (PhD; contract research)
•Education
•Ritual facilitator
•Ritual consultancy
•Consultancy (culture; memory culture; museum)
•Journalism
•Editorial and publishing work
•Policy work (minorities policy; diversity)
•Project work
•Human Resource Management
•Scholarly Travel Agency

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Religious Studies is a challenging research-oriented programme that prepares you for participation in current debates in the international community of scholars of religion. Read more
Religious Studies is a challenging research-oriented programme that prepares you for participation in current debates in the international community of scholars of religion.

The programme combines an advanced grounding in the central themes and theories of the study of religion, with ample opportunity for specialisation. You can choose and develop your specific expertise in relation to one of the key research areas of our institute:

-Religious texts and interpretative practices: This research area focuses on the study of religious traditions from the perspective of sacred texts: their interpretation and the religious rituals and practices associated with them, and discussions on the authority of religious texts.

-Materiality and physicality of lived religion: This area focuses on the study of the use of the body and the senses in religious practices, such as praying, dancing, fighting, and fasting; the function of objects withing the context of religious practices, such as images, buildings, food, clothing, and money; and public controversies.

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