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Spirituality and Religion

In today’s world there is a growing presence of spiritual practices and ideas alongside more traditional forms of religion. How are we to make sense of this development? In this Master’s programme you will study the changing role of religion and spirituality in contemporary societies and their historical roots.

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The past and present forms of spirituality and religion

This programme focuses on spirituality and religion as they manifest themselves in the most diverse areas of culture and society, both in the past and in the present. It trains students to use historical methods in tandem with social-scientific ones. Within the programme, you choose to specialise in Spirituality and Esotericism in Western Culture or in the study of Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Societies. There is also the possibility to specialise in Spirituality and Religion in Islam.

You will learn to conduct research from a critical perspective, to work with archival and other primary sources, and to present your results in an elaborate,  coherent way. Upon completion of the programme, you will have a firm grasp of the historical roots of spirituality and the changing role of religion in society. You can use this in your future careers in such fields as research, policy, education, or in the cultural sector.

Unique in the world

The Master’s in Spirituality and Religion at the University of Amsterdam is unique in the world in its exclusive focus on spirituality and religion. It offers, among others, courses on Western esotericism and on the changing place of spirituality and religion in contemporary society. This one-year programme is taught in English, and welcomes both Dutch and international students from a broad range of disciplines.

Learn more about the study programme

Why study Spirituality and Religion at the University of Amsterdam?

  • The programme allows students a large degree of freedom to tailor the programme to their own interests.
  • You will benefit from the fact that this programme has a strong international scope, while it is also rooted in the city of Amsterdam, which has a long history of religious diversity and experimentation. In this way, the programme offers interesting entry points both for historical and for social scientific research.
  • The Master’s in Spirituality and Religion at the University of Amsterdam is unique in the world and offers your two specialisations.

Check the entry requirements

Student profile

As a student in the Master’s programme in Spirituality and religion you are expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:

  • You have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and have taken academic courses equivalent to at least one full-time semester of academic studies (30 ECTS) in Religious Studies or the study of religion and/or spirituality from a historical, cultural or social scientific background.
  • You are familiar with basic concepts and have basic knowledge of some religious traditions or the role of religion in society.
  • You are interested in questions relating to spirituality and its interplay with religion. You either have a strong interest in Western Esotericism, the history of spirituality, or the role of spirituality and religion in contemporary society.
  • You have an inquisitive mind and enjoy doing historical, cultural or social scientific research into heterodox forms of religion and reporting on this.
  • You want to contribute to a better understanding of how the role of religion in society is changing today.

Degree certificate

Spirituality and religion is an accredited degree programme of Theology and Religious Studies. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in this programme and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Spirituality and Religion
Diploma MA Theology & Religious Studies
Type Regulier onderwijs
Vorm Voltijd
Studielast 60 EC, 12 maanden
Voertaal Engels
Start September
CROHO-code 60824