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Research in Religious Studies: Theories and Methods



This course consists of two distinct parts. The first part (weeks 1-6) will be devoted to contemporary theories of religion. Students will confront introductions to various theories that aim to explain or explore religion as a human phenomenon with a specific case-study on the maintenance and production of ‘belief’ among American converts to Evangelical Christianity.
The second part (weeks 7-13) will be comparative in nature and will be devoted to ‘religious freedom’ in the modern world and the problems this notion produces in society and for students of religion. Students will argue cases and debates with a special focus on what people who engage in these debates actually think ‘religion’ is, does, or should be.

Mode of instruction

Choose from:

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

  • Research

  • Excursion

  • Internship

  • Thesis BA or Thesis MA

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load for the course (number of EC x 28 hours), for a course of 5 EC is 140 hours, for 10 EC 280.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars (eg 2 hours per week x 14 weeks = 28 hours)

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature (as a possible criterion approx. 7 pages per hour with deviations up and down depending on the material to be studied) (if applicable) time for completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college

  • (If applicable) time to write a paper (including reading / research)

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

Please choose one or more options from the following:

  • written examination with closed questiond (for example multiple choice)

  • written examination with short questions

  • written examination with essay questions

  • take home examination

  • essay, assignments, etc.

  • oral examination

  • presentation, abstract

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:

1) the final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average
2) the final grade for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average combined with (ii) additional requirements. These additional requirements generally relate to one or more of the subtests always be sufficient

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Albert de Jong


Students are required not only to be present for all sessions of the course, but to attend three (in the case of those who not speak Dutch, two) additional events: the launch of LUCSoR on September, 24 (3-5, during class time), a Master-class on the definition of religion by Professor Wouter Hanegraaff (Amsterdam) on Friday, 26 September, 3-5, and the workshop on The Persuasive Power of Religious Narratives on Friday, 17 October.