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

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Research Seminar Religious Studies

2.5 EC 24 Jun 2020


Teaching staff: Professor dr. A.F. (Ab) de Jong (UL) and dr. H.J. (Jacqueline) Borsje (UvA).
Course Description: This ongoing seminar meets every month and offers a forum to present and discuss parts of the PhD and ReMA projects of the participants. In addition, we will be discussing current debates and issues in the study of religion, with special focus on the interconnection between dedicated work (historical as well as contemporary) on concrete religions, religious materials, and religious phenomena, and general theorising 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 these 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 on society – producing knowledge for society – investigating personal agency and positionality – critiquing the work of others and dealing with being criticised – preparation for professional life after the thesis/dissertation.
Course objectives: The course aims to support the participants during their research, 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 participant is able to take part in discussions of ongoing work with peers.
  • The participant is able to present and defend his or her own work.
  • The participant 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 theorising and to particular bodies of data (textual, ethnographic, historical, contemporary, etc.)

Teaching methods: Assignments, presentations, responses and discussions.
Participation and registration: Once you have created a personal account on this website and have logged in, you can register for this Research Seminar by clicking the green “Register for this item” button on the right. If you participated in this Research Seminar in the previous academic year, please register again for the new academic year.
Costs: Participation is free for ReMA students and PhD candidates registered at NOSTER or at any other research school in the Humanities. For others, the fees are €125. For more information about membership and costs, click here (for ReMA students) or here (for PhD candidates).
Place: Leiden and Amsterdam.
Credits and workload: 2.5 EC (70 hours).


  • 27 Sep 2019 10:30 13:00
    Part of Kick Off event
  • 26 Nov 2019
    tba Amsterdam
  • 19 Dec 2019
    December 2019. Time & date: tba. Location: tba Amsterdam
  • 07 Feb 2020 10:30 12:30
    Part of Midyear Meeting. Location @Radboud University, Nijmegen
  • 20 Mar 2020 15:00 17:00
    Location: tba
  • 22 Apr 2020 15:30 17:30
    a Zoom meeting
  • 20 May 2020 15:30 17:30
    a Zoom meeting
  • 28 May 2020 15:00 16:30
    The session will be conducted online
  • 24 Jun 2020 17:00 18:30
    The session will be conducted online
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