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Religion and the Public Domain

Course Description

Although often described as secular, Europe is in fact more religious than we think. Western culture, politics, art, literature, and law have been fundamentally shaped by Christian ideas and practices. Learning to detect the role of religion in Western history and society will provide you with unique skills for a thorough understanding of contemporary cultural, social and political phenomena.

Religion, in particular Christianity, has set a deep mark on Western culture – in land- and cityscape, in art and architecture, and in literary traditions. Christian concepts continue to be strongly manifest in the history of ideas. Domains including human rights, liberty and democracy, and social policies have all been stimulated and shaped by Christianity. Even the very concept of the secular stems from Christian theology. The analysis of us living in a secular world is thus too unsophisticated to do justice to the relevance of the 'religious factor' in our culture.

This programme focuses on such diverse topics as texts, practices, objects and places. You will acquire the essential skills to analyze and asses the fundamental role of religion in Western culture in history and today.

Degree: MA in Theology & Religious Studies

Why in Groningen?

- Unique combination of cultural history and philosophy and profit from the input and network of 2 leading research institutes
- Focus on the intertwining of religion, philosophy and cultural change in the Western world
- Understand the role of religion in Western societies in history and today* Do a placement that boosts your career prospects
- Programming taught by leading experts with a world-class reputation
- A stimulating learning environment
- You can follow your own research interests

Job perspectives

You can advise or write policy documents on different subjects, such as developmental assistance or the 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 placement in the Research Master. You can complete this two-year programme in one year.

Job examples

- Education
Once you have completed this Master's programme, 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.

- Consulting & Policy
Your knowledge about the position of religion in the public domain will enable you to advise upon or write policy documents on a number of different subjects ranging from multicultural society to 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.

- 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.

Visit the Religion and the Public Domain page on the University of Groningen website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Bachelor degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Arts, Philosophy or Social Sciences (e.g. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology). Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature. Students with another bachelor degree can be permitted via a bridging programme

Course Fees

2015/16 EU/EEA: €1951 (Full-time); non-EU/EEA: €11000 (Full-time)

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Groningen
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