Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Theologie en Religiewetenschap
Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion

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Research Seminar Religious Studies

0,25 EC 21 Sep 2018


Religious Studies / Study of Religion

Teaching staff: Prof.dr. A.F. de Jong (UL) and dr. H.J. Borsje (UvA)

Course Description
This ongoing seminar meets monthly and offers a forum to present and discuss parts of the PhD and ResMA-projects of the participants. In addition, we will be discussing current debates and issues in the study of religion, with a particular focus on the interconnection between dedicated work (historical as well as contemporary) on concrete religions, religious materials, and religious phenomena, and general theorizing about ‘religion’. This is, in a sense, the ‘black hole’ of the study of religion as an academic discipline: how do we connect our findings on specific, historically and empirically traceable, manifestations of religion with general insights in religion as a phenomenon? And how can we apply such general insights to our own often very specific research? Raising, and discussing, these questions is an important step towards the much-needed integration of the various disciplinary subfields that make up the contemporary study of religion. There will be  plenty of time to use the presentations and debates for the acquisition of more general academic skills: framing and phrasing research questions – asking and answering the ‘so what?’ question – explaining the function and goal of the study of religion, and its impact in society – producing knowledge for society – investigating personal agency and positionality – critiquing the work of others and dealing with being criticized – preparation for professional life after the thesis/dissertation.

Course objectives
The course aims to support the participants during their ResMA and PhD-work, to develop their skills, to deepen their insight in recent work in the study of religion and to make them aware of the need for an integrated programme in the study of religion.

Final qualifications

  • The student is able to participate in discussions of ongoing work with peers.
  • The student is able to present and defend his or her own work.
  • The student is able to assess and discuss methodological and theoretical aspects of research in the study of religion, and judge them on the contributions they make both to general theorizing and to particular bodies of data (textual, ethnographic, historical, contemporary, etc.)

Required reading
Research papers of participants, selected readings concerning current debates in the field of the study of religion.

Testing methods
Presence and participation, delivery of prepared critical comments

Teaching methods
Assignments, presentations, responses and discussions

Participation and registration
Registration is required via the NOSTER website. A certificate of attendance can be given to the students after finishing the course. In case you are an external PhD candidate your promotor has to send NOSTER an email (, giving his or her consent with your participation.

Participation is free for NOSTER members. For those who are no members of NOSTER the fee for this seminar is €125,-. For more information about membership and costs per EC, see:

: 0,25 EC / meeting
Place: Leiden
Number of sessions: Ten sessions per year of 3 hours each.

Course-specific Admission
The course is open to PhD candidates and Research Master students in theology and religious studies. In some cases, research-oriented students from other master programmes may be admitted. For further information, please contact the office (

Contact information of the seminar secretary
Hannah Storm:


  • 21 Sep 2018 10:00 13:00
    Nijmegen, as part of the NOSTER Opening of the Academic Year. More information t.b.a.


Matthias de Vrieshof 1, Leiden, Nederland
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