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Global Christianity


Admission requirements

This course is open to all students with an academic interest in the subject matter.


In 1900, Christianity was primarily a Western religion, with over 80 percent of Christians living in Europe or North America. Today, however, Christianity is a truly global religion, with over 60 percent of Christians living in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The course will introduce students to this seismic shift and help develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion that spans the globe and remains highly influential in the twenty-first century.
Alongside a regional survey and analysis of Christianity throughout the globe, the course is enriched with detailed case studies from each region, providing an in-depth and textured understanding of the processes, patterns, and impact of localised expressions of Christianity. The course will also engage the following prominent issues and concepts: secularisation, globalisation, post-colonialism, transnationalism, migration, ethnicity, race, violence, sex, and gender. Given the interdisciplinary nature of global Christianity, multiple methodological disciplines and theoretical approaches will be explored, including anthropology, sociology, history, economics, and political science.

Course objectives

Each student who completes the course will:

  • Develop a broad competence and understanding of Christianity as a diverse, polycentric, and lived religion in the following cultural regions: Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Latin America, North America, and Oceania.

  • Develop an interdisciplinary approach to Global Christianity that takes into account anthropological, sociological, historical, economical, and political methods and theories.

  • Acquire a factual knowledge of the four major traditions of Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Pentecostal/Charismatic.

  • Gain critical thinking skills, fieldwork skills, oral and written communication skills, and knowledge of diverse cultures.

  • Be able to explain the major trends and future trajectory of Christianity as a global religion.


Timetable Religiewetenschappen

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total Course Load: 5EC’s x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Attending class sessions: 13 sessions x 2 hours = 26 hours

  • Reading assigned texts: c. 400 pages at 7 pages/hour = 58 hours

  • Fieldwork and preparing oral presentation = 16 hours

  • Preparing for exams: 40 hours

Assessment method

The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of four marks:
1. Fieldwork and Field Report: 20%
2. Mid-term exam with a combination of closed questions, short open questions, and essay questions: 40%
3. Final Exam with a combination of closed questions, short open questions, and essay questions: 40%

NOTE: to pass the course, students must score at least a 4 on each assignment, with a minimum average of 6 for the final grade.

RESIT: students who have participated in all elements of the course, but scored an overall insufficient mark are entitled to a resit. For the field report, students will be given a chance to hand in a new version. For the exams, students will be given a chance to resit exams at the end of the semester.


The course makes use of Blackboard the following ways: (1) all communication will take place via Blackboard; (2) additional information about the course will be available via Blackboard; and (3) assignments must be submitted via Blackboard.

Reading list

Master copies of articles and book chapters for the course will be made available for students to copy individually. More information about the readings will be made available on Blackboard

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr W.R. (William) Arfman


The course is taught in English, but the field report, mid-term exam, and final exam may be written in Dutch.