Religious Studies

How have religious traditions such as Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam influenced people’s relation to the world, their social interactions, and their ideas about human dignity, sexuality, peace and social justice? Why do religious images, buildings, clothes, and everyday practices often provoke fierce debates or even violent conflicts? How can we understand that religion doesn’t disappear in modern societies, but seems to be increasingly vibrant and politically influential on a global scale? And how does the transnational character of many religions feature in current social and political challenges such as migration, economic inequalities, or even climate change?

Religious Studies at University College Utrecht is a challenging, multidisciplinary and research-oriented track that engages students in scholarly as well as public-political debates. It approaches religious traditions, ideas and practices as transcultural phenomena that are deeply engrained into, e.g., political, economic, and cultural phenomena. The programme combines grounding in the central themes and theories of the study of religion, with the study of many specific religious practices such as praying, dancing, and fasting; the function of images, buildings, and food, and the relation between religion, politics, and secularism. Since religious studies is by definition an interdisciplinary field, you learn how to study religions from various perspectives, including anthropological, historical, and philosophical approaches, gender studies, and in postcolonial constellations.