Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Education Bachelor Minors

Art and Religion

How do people use art to express their belief?  What makes a work of art or a place “religious”? What are the functions and uses of images, spaces and places in religious traditions around the world? What difference does it make if a religious artifact is encountered in the Rijksmuseum, St Peter’s Basilica, or a wayside shrine? These questions lie at the heart of the minor Art and Religion.

The closure of large numbers of churches, global migration, climate change, attacks on religious minorities, and destruction of religious sites and artifacts, has lent urgency to the question of the relationship between religion and art. Learning to understand, analyse, and communicate material and immaterial religious heritage has important economic, political, educational, and cultural implications.

The many and sometimes contradictory ways in which images, objects, spaces, and places are used in religion constitute a guiding focus of the minor. Attention to the ways in which people use art and spaces helps us to raise questions about a too-easy distinction between the religious and the secular. At the same time it helps us to identify similar (or contrasting) functions of art across religious traditions. In this way the minor will equip you to approach the study of religion and art in religious traditions and contexts well beyond the scope of the course itself. It will also prepare you to work in and contribute to the broader field of heritage, and is the perfect start for enrolment in the MA programme in Heritage and Religion.

Study Scheme

Semester I, blok 1 (Faculty of Arts)
Beyond Antiquity: Architecture 400-1400 (5 ECTS)
Beyond Antiquity: Visual Arts 400-1400 (5 ECTS)

Multimedia Scripture (5 ECTS)

Totaal: 15 ECTS
Semester I, blok 2 (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies)
The Sacred Image (7,5 ECTS)
Religion, Space, and Place (7,5 ECTS)
Totaal: 15 ECTS


Students have to register for the whole minor as well as for the course units of their choice within the minor.

Students from ThRS can enrol in Religion and Art for 15 ECTS in the Faculty of Arts part of the minor in Art and Religion, in Block 1A. They may also choose to enroll in Religion Space and Place in Block 1B, but this will NOT be counted as part of a minor for ThRS students.

Non-UG Students should contact the minor coördinator for more information about registration.


For more information contact Andrew Irving, minor coordinator.

Quality Assurance

A. 'Home base' of the minor Art and Religion is the Bachelor Theology
B. The minor is covered by the programme committee of the Bachelor Theology
C. The minor is covered by the Bachelor's Teaching and examination regulations (OER) Theology

D. The minor is covered by the Board of Examiners of the Faculty Theology and Religious Studies

Last modified:04 November 2022 4.37 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands