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Research Master Student

Laura J. Vollmer
Laura Vollmer

As someone interested in a variety of subjects that do not clearly belong to a particular discipline, I found the Research Master Religion and Culture of the Groningen Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies to be an excellent fit. The programme’s interdisciplinary nature and the diverse opportunities for research traineeships provide students with the flexibility to develop a unique course of study.

While working towards my first MA in East Asian studies, I found myself increasingly drawn to topics that challenged the very analytical categories we use to define disciplinary boundaries, such as ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ cultures, or even ‘religion’ and ‘science.’ Understanding how these boundaries are constructed and deconstructed is essential for a reflective and accurate analysis.

Now as a Master’s student in Religion and Culture, I have the opportunity and support to explore largely uncharted territory, such as the public role of ‘privatized’ spirituality, the religiosity of science, and the scientification of religion, and to compare systems of knowledge across cultures. These topics often give rise to metaphysical and epistemological matters, such as the clash between the often physicalist worldview of science and the dualist view of many religious philosophies. The research traineeships allow me to explore these topics that lie outside traditional disciplinary lines uninhibited.

The Research Master’s programme Religion and Culture is well rounded and accommodating, providing me with the training I need to become a distinctive and innovative scholar. After a long search, I was so pleased to find a programme that can cater effectively to my academic needs.

Last modified:09 December 2013 3.54 p.m.