During the course of the one-year Master’s Programme in Religious Studies you learn to independently evaluate information in a critical manner and to conduct academically sound research in a particular field of study. The themes which are offered in the different master’s fields are closely interwoven with the research conducted within the Leiden University Institute for Religious Studies. In this way you will develop a well-founded vision of present-day academic developments in their specialist field.
1. The Leiden University Institute for Religious Studies provides a stimulating and dynamic context for the study of religion. Internationally acclaimed professors teach in the fields of:
In addition, the staff includes experts in fields such as:
This provides students with an optimum range of possibilities, and we are able to guarantee a challenging and dynamic learning environment.
2. The Institute’s research and teaching programmes have been positively evaluated by international review committees and rank among the best in Europe.
3. The Institute’s small scale gives it an informal and personal atmosphere. The individual approach applied in the master’s programme allows you to derive the maximum benefit from your master’s study.
4. The master’s programme is a flexible programme, allowing students to pursue their individual interests.
5. The Leiden Institute for Religious Studies is located close to the University Library and is a short distance from other important university facilities. The picturesque old centre of Leiden with its charming canals is on just a few minutes walking distance.
“In the present-day world you see that the factor of religion plays an in-creasingly important role in consi-derations on societal issues.”
“My specialist field is ethics, an area of philosophy that systematically questions human behaviour. I am concerned with such issues as the relationship between religion and morality. Is man perhaps not inherently irrational? In general you can say that philosophy puts all world views into a common perspective, whether they be religious or scientific. Ethics, as a branch of philosophy, calls into discussion contemporary moral assumptions within religion, as well as issues in this field which emerge from the arts and sciences. I am infinitely fascinated by identifying problems.
In the present-day world you see that the factor of religion plays an increasingly important role in considerations on societal issues. Not so long ago the religious context was regarded as irrelevant: In Europe, for example, Christianity was relegated to the private domain. But now there are definite signs that a change is taking place. Many Muslims, for example, no longer expressly distance themselves from the visible aspects of their religion, such as clothing or public prayers, whereby other religions rediscover themselves as religions.
In 2005 I won Leiden University’s teaching prize. I believe it is essential for a teacher to be fully committed to and engaged in education. You cannot teach ethics as an automaton; to me this seems a contradiction in terms. An automaton has no awareness of what is at stake, or how much pain a particular decision can inflict.”