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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesTheology & Religious StudiesReligion and Cultural Heritage
Header image Religion and Cultural Heritage

Religion and Cultural Heritage

How and why do we creatively make use of the past to forge new identities in the present? How do we negotiate the tension between heritage preservation and engaged ownership? What is at stake in the "musealization" of religion?

The track Religion and Cultural Heritage in the MA programme in Theology and Religious Studies is a unique one-year interdisciplinary programme focusing on a major trend at the interface of religion, identity, politics, and material culture: heritage studies. It also addresses a gap in critical heritage studies, studying the shifting place of religion in heritage debates. The programme challenges you to analyse, and to contribute your own voice to these debates.

Drawing on the strengths of an international interdisciplinary faculty, and the Centre for Religion and Heritage with its strong ties to local, national, and international heritage institutions and networks, we are looking for students who are passionate about learning how heritage is being used to forge new identities in present.

In our programme, we give you the tools to:

  • undertake work in the heritage sector and in education,
  • master and apply the latest theories of material and intangible heritage as these intersect with religion,
  • give voice to religious perspectives in heritage tourism, politics, museums and heritage institutions
  • pursue heritage as a topic and a method of research within academic disciplines.
Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Theology & Religious Studies
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60824
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Theology and Religious Studies
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • expertise on religious aspects of both material and immaterial heritage
  • unique combination of broad cultural competence and academic research skills with practical skills relevant for job market
  • expertise on various religions, taught at non-denominational university
  • strong heritage region
  • excellent network for internships
  • taught by internationally recognized experts in the field
  • small scale teaching
Programme

Religion and Cultural Heritage consists of three core modules (15 ECTS), a thesis (20 ECTS) and a practical placement (10 ECTS). You can choose three out of eight electives (5 ECTS each).

Please note: the information in the course catalogue is of the current academic year.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Compulsory: Heritage, Identity, Religion: Theoretical Approaches (5 EC)

This introductory seminar course provides an introduction to the growing field of critical heritage studies as applied to religious sites, practices, and objects.

Compulsory: Regional Heritage: Old Churches - New Meanings (5 EC)

Finding new uses for historic church buildings is one of the most pressing tasks facing the Netherlands today. But with new uses come new meanings. In this class students start with basic theories of religious meaning making and the postsecular. They then meet with stakeholders, such as heritage professionals, provincial officials and church leaders, and finally undertake studies of meaning-making in local communities around Groningen.

Elective: Heritage of Nature: History of Science, Spirituality, and the Idea of Nature (5 EC, optional)

How do ideas of nature reflect cultural decisions about the more-than-human world? This course looks at major trends in science, spirituality, and philosophy of nature.

Elective: Material Religion (5 EC, optional)

What can things and their uses teach us about religion? This course focuses resolutely on material culture as a way of approaching religious heritage. We learn from material culture theory, and apply what we learn in a community-based material heritage project.

Elective: Theological Heritages (5 EC, optional)

Not only is theology a heritage, it deals with heritage itself as well. How do theological perspectives treat their past? Having rejected papal authority in the 16th century protestant theology faced the problem of how to maintain truth. We will study two different answers to this challenge: liberal and confessional.

Compulsory: Research Methods in Heritage and Historical Studies (5 EC)

You will focus on practical and research skills to prepare you on individual projects in the second semester, such as your thesis and internship.

Elective: Heritage of Death (5 EC, optional)

Many, perhaps most, of the items and phenomena we study as 'heritage' are death-related. This course offers the much-needed tools to analyse this important category of heritage. At the same time, the course offers students the opportunity to learn new skills, such as producing a documentary film or curating a 3D virtual exhibition.

Elective: Museums and Religion (5 EC, optional)

How is religion addressed (or avoided) in museums? What is at stake in the “musealization” of religious sites, objects, and practices? Who has control over what is displayed, where? This course gives the skills to analyse the history of the relationship between museums and religion, museum theory, and contemporary practice.

Elective: National Socialism and Religion: Conflict and Heritage (5 EC, optional)

This class examines heritage as memory of historical trauma. It begins with a study of the religious conflicts and violence of the National Socialist regime and then turns to the role played by the memory of these conflicts in politics and culture. Finally the class investigates how religious heritage can help us understand memorials to the Holocaust built in Germany since 1945.

Elective: Popular Culture, Politics, and Heritage (5 EC, optional)

This class focuses on the re-use of the past today, more specifically how medieval and early modern phenomena are appropriated as markers of identity, as (immaterial) heritage. Its subjects range from the medieval in contemporary computer games, films and TV-series, to its political use in the debate about national character or confessional identity.

Elective: Reception and Re-Use of Authoritative Texts (5 EC, optional)

This course explores the reception history of the Bible and other authoritative texts. You will develop skills in setting up research projects to examine the ways in which certain Jewish and Christian traditions deal with biblical data

Internship (10 EC)

In stead of an internship, you have the option to do a research project.

Thesis (20 EC)

You write a thesis about a subject of your choice.

Thesis seminar

During these seminar meetings you learn about specific methodologies and will discuss and practice the planning, researching and writing of a Master thesis.

Curriculum

You can also follow this track within the two-year Research Master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies. See: http://www.rug.nl/masters/theology-religious-studies-research/

Programme options
Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies. The programme of 15 ECTS is followed in addition to your regular Master's programme.

It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.The theme of leadership is explored from various angles in the Masterclasses. Leadership skills are the focus in the Leadership Labs and Workshops. The Master's Honours Programme concludes with a Master Work – a project of your choosing that you design and implement.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

We have various exchange contracts with universities both inside and outside Europe, enabling students to follow part of their degree programme at a foreign university. Another option is to take an internship or to do part of the research work abroad. For an overview of our exchange partners, see: http://www.rug.nl/ggw/education/prosstud/exchangeprogrammes/partneruniversities

Entry Requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade list

A grade list of the marks of your bachelor's degree programme with an explanation of the followed courses.

language test

A (English) language test is only important if you do not have a VWO-diploma.TOEFL: 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet; IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 on each part) (not for native speakers)

previous education

BA in Theology or Religious studies or BA in a related area in Humanities, Philosophy, Social Sciences or Spatial Sciences (specialization Cultural Geography). Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature. Students with another bachelor's degree can be permitted via a bridging programme.

written request

A letter of motivation to the admissions committee explaining the choice for this study programme (max. 1 page) is required, just like an overview of your bachelor's programme, a Curriculum Vitae and a writing sample of an academic paper are part of the admissions procedure.

Registration procedure

Students with a Dutch bachelor's degree send all the documentation by mail to onderwijs.ggw@rug.nl, even if a direct access is applicable.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Cultural HeritageAll Universities of applied sciences

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

European StudiesAll Universities of applied sciences

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Toerisme en RecreatieAll Universities of applied sciences

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
ArchaeologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature

Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature

Arts, Culture and MediaUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature

Art HistoryUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature

European Languages and CulturesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature

TheologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Religious StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Liberal Arts and SciencesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

HistoryUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

PhilosophyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Human Geography & Urban and Regional PlanningUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Dutch Language and CultureUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

SociologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
ReligiewetenschappenUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Arts and Culture StudiesUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and Sciences (joint degree)University of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

KunstgeschiedenisUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

European StudiesUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Media and CultureUniversity of Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Arts and Culture StudiesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Interdisciplinary Social SciencesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Arts and CultureAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

European StudiesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

European Languages and CulturesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

HistoryAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

GodgeleerdheidAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

KunstgeschiedenisAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

ReligiewetenschappenAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Taal- en CultuurstudiesAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

TheologyAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Tourism (joint degree)All Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

FilosofieAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Religie en LevensbeschouwingVU University Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Theology (joint degree)VU University Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and Sciences (joint degree)VU University Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Philosophy, Politics and EconomicsVU University Amsterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
KunstgeschiedenisLeiden University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

ReligiewetenschappenLeiden University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global ChallengesLeiden University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Arts and CultureMaastricht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

European StudiesMaastricht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesMaastricht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesMaastricht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Arts and Culture StudiesRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Arts and Culture StudiesRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

ReligiewetenschappenRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

TheologyRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Geography, Spatial Planning and EnvironmentRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Arts and Culture StudiesErasmus University Rotterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Arts and Culture StudiesErasmus University Rotterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesErasmus University Rotterdam

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
TheologyTilburg University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper.

Liberal Arts and SciencesTilburg University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Arts and Culture StudiesTilburg University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
KunstgeschiedenisUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

ReligiewetenschappenUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Liberal Arts and SciencesUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Tourism (joint degree)Wageningen University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Arts & CultureOpen University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Arts and Culture StudiesOpen University

Additional requirements

More information:

Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade list

A grade list of the marks of your bachelor's degree programme with an explanation of the followed courses.

language test

TOEFL: 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet; IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 on each part) (not for native speakers)

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Arts, Philosophy, Social Science (e.g. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology) or Spatial Sciences (specialization Cultural Geography). Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature. Students with another bachelor's degree may be admitted via a bridging programme.

written request

A letter of motivation to the admissions committee explaining the choice for this study programme (max. 1 page) is required, just like an overview of your bachelor's programme, a Curriculum Vitae and a writing sample of an academic paper in OAS (Online Application System).

other admission requirements

Students with a Dutch bachelor's degree send all the documentation by mail to onderwijs.ggw@rug.nl, even if a direct access is applicable.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
IELTS listening6
IELTS reading6
IELTS writing6
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

Registration procedure

International students and Dutch students with non-Dutch qualifications are not automatically admitted to a Master's degree programme at the University of Groningen. The full registration procedure will take longer than for Dutch students with regular Dutch qualifications and consists of three steps: application, admission and registration.

Check the admissions guide for more information about the admissions procedure.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 April 202001 September 2020
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time

Talent Grant available for Non-EU students, check this and other funding options here: https://www.rug.nl/ggw/education/prosstud/talent-grants-and-scholarships-theors

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

You can advise or write policy documents on heritage subjects, such as the preservation of old churches or the distribution of funding for cultural activities. You could work for cultural organisations, the government, in the tourist business or at an NGO. You may also work in the media or as a teacher of religion in secondary education after completing your Educational Master's programme.

If you want to pursue an academic career, you can follow this track as a specialization within the Research Master's programme.

Job examples

  • Cultural Education

    You can work within organizations that consult upon the content and organization within the field of arts and cultural education. Or you could work at an educational department within institutions such as a cultural centers or museums.

  • Consulting & Policy

    Your knowledge about religious heritage will enable you to advise upon or write policy documents on the conservation of religious heritage. You could find a job with central government but also at organizations and foundations in the cultural sector. This could, for example, be the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht or the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken.

  • Education

    Once you have completed this Master's track, you will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to teach Religious Studies or Social Studies in secondary education. Alternatively, you could opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher or lecturer, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

  • Media & Journalism

    A number of publishers have shown renewed interest in religion and society. With your knowledge and skills, you can make an expert contribution to publications in this field. You could also use your expertise as an editor at a broadcasting company, newspaper or current affairs magazine.

Research

Our MA track Religion and Cultural Heritage directly benefits from cutting-edge research carried out mainly within the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas, and is thus an excellent example of research-based education.

The course units are taught by internationally recognized historians, philosophers and political scientists from all over the world who all specialize in the role of religion in culture. They will provide you with cutting-edge insights into religion and heritage which are directly inspired by their own research.

  • Dr Mathilde van Dijk (Netherlands): Assistant Professor of History of Christianity and Gender Studies. She focuses on Late Medieval religious culture, mysticism, gender studies, and the representation of the Middle Ages in popular culture (e.g. in film).
  • Dr Andrew Irving (New Zealand): Assistant Professor of Religion and Heritage, with a specialization in material culture of Christianity. He specializes in material culture and archaeological approaches to the study of early and medieval Christianities, with a particular focus of liturgy, manuscripts, and the history of the book.
  • Dr Christoph Jedan (Germany): Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Central terms in his research are good citizenship, religion and emotion, history of death, dying and bereavement, and 'levenskunst' (Art of Living).
  • Dr Benjamin Schewel (USA): Assistant Professor in Philosophy of Religion, specializing in theories of Religion, Secularism and the Post-Secular, and Religion and Politics.
  • Prof Kocku von Stuckrad (Germany): Professor of Religious Studies. In this programme, he teaches on Mysticism and Science, using historical cases taken from Jewish and Christian Kabbalah, alchemy, astrology, and philosophies of nature from the Middle Ages to the modern period.
  • Dr Stefania Travagnin (Italy): Assistant Professor of Religion in Asia. She is an expert on Buddhism and religion and society in modern China, and has a special interest in religion and the media in China (online Buddhist rituals; Buddhist films and documentaries).
  • Prof Todd Weir (USA): Professor in Christianity and Modern Culture. He is a cultural and intellectual historian of modern Germany and of the transnational history of religion and secularism.
  • Dr Erin Wilson (Australia): Associate Professor of Religion and Politics. Her research is at the interface where religious studies, international relations and philosophy meet, and she aims to develop a new theoretical framework for the role of religion in issues in national and international politics.

Research Institutes

Much of the research by the teaching staff connects with the activities of the Research Centres in our Faculty:

These centres regularly invite speakers and organise events on the role of religion in contemporary societies, where MA students, PhD students and staff engage in lively discussions.


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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Religion and Cultural Heritage, please contact:

  • 
								Testimonial of Kyra-Tiana Kers NL

    Researching the changing relationship between the Coca Cola Company and religion

    – Kyra-Tiana Kers NL
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    At Theology and Religious Studies, you feel like you're part of a family. Everyone knows everyone, and it's very inclusive. This is why I decided to stay on after my Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies to pursue a Master's degree here as well. I also work as a student assistant and mentor. After completing my Master's degree, I'd love to find a job in the cultural heritage sector. This could be at a school, to teach children about cultural heritage, or at a media corporation.

    During my Master’s track, I did a placement at the monastery museum in Ter Apel, where I co-organized an exhibition on how the lives of monks changed during the Reformation in the Netherlands. Some monks changed religious denomination and became Protestant, some resisted until they died, some fled and some were killed. The exhibition ran from August until December 2017. For my Master’s thesis, I am researching the changing relationship between the Coca Cola Company and religion. The Coca Cola Company has always been connected with religion and religious expression, but this relationship appears to be changing. I am doing research into these changes and what the implications are.


    I love living in Groningen! There is so much to do and see. In my spare time, I take long walks in the Noorderplantsoen, or at a recreational area called Hoornse Plas, in the south of the city. My evenings are filled with activities in the small bars or cafés in the city centre. I agree with the slogan: Nothing tops Groningen!

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  • 
								Testimonial of Andrew Irving

    Studying material religious cultures helps us to think outside the box about the nature of lived religious belief itself

    – Andrew Irving
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    According to current estimates, over 300 million tourists visit religious sites every year. The vast cultural, political, religious, economic, and environmental impact of these visits - whatever their motivations may be - is attracting the attention of governmental bodies on all levels, of private foundations and museums , and of industry specialists in tourism and infrastructure.

    At the same time, pressures on religious, governmental, and private organizations concerning changing religious and cultural identities, and relating to the long-term sustainability of religious heritage management have leant urgency to the question: How do we engage, preserve and communicate the remains of our religious past? 

    For these reasons, it is critical that graduates in religious studies and theology be equipped to facilitate and contribute informed voices to public debate about the future of religious heritage. It is also vital for the academic research and faith communities to learn about the ways in which “lay” and “non-expert” participants actively re-appropriate religious spaces, objects, and practices formerly perhaps too narrowly defined as the domain of adherents to religious beliefs on the one hand and trained experts on the other.

    Groningen’s MA in Religion and Cultural Heritage is unique in preparing you for this crucial bridge role. You will bring rigorous and critical training in theology and religion to the table in public and private discourse about religious heritage. At the same time you will learn to contribute to the academic study of religious history and to faith communities by communicating and analyzing the interests, questions and challenges that arise from the broader public’s engagement with its own and other peoples’ religious heritage.

    I teach courses that engage with material aspects of religion: visual arts, liturgical rites, books, music, and objects, material culture, architecture and archaeology. The courses will provide you with training and hands-on experience of observing, describing, comparing, and analyzing religious objects, spaces, and practices from the past, and in thinking about and questioning what is at stake in their preservation, use, and adaptation in the present. Studying material religious cultures helps us to think outside the box about the nature of lived religious belief itself.

    My research centers on the intersection between book history and the history of Christian worship. In Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, books comprise perhaps the largest group of religious artefacts that survive. I study the design and production of liturgical manuscripts, and, in particular, the material evidence for their intended and actual use. In this way, we can examine a religious book as if it were an archaeological site. By identifying and peeling back layers of evidence of repeated use and adaptation of single book objects sometimes over centuries, we can learn to re-consider what a religious book is for, how it works, and what it might tell us about the communities and individuals that made and used it. It is this careful and patient approach to sustained engagement with all material aspects of religion that I aim to bring to the classroom, fieldwork, and student-lead research.

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  • 
								Testimonial of Todd Weir

    Religion lies at the core of every intangible and living culture

    – Todd Weir
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    Across the globe, the public role of history is expanding. New museums and historical sites are opening, historical tourism is growing, and educational and cultural institutions are increasing their engagement with the past. This requires a new class of heritage experts, who are self-reflective and can contribute to economic and cultural policy formation and to regional planning.

    This master’s degree provides students with the theoretical and practical education necessary to take an active role in this exciting sector.

    Together with Mathilde van Dijk and Andrew Irving, I teach Religious Heritage at Groningen. Our combined expertise allows us to place Christian heritage in a broad context that includes other religious traditions and even secularism. Through lectures, seminar and field trips, we examine sites, buildings, traditions, rituals, texts and other locations where the past is maintained in the present.

    My own research focuses on the configuration of religion in politics and culture. I have written extensively on the interactions of Christianity, Judaism and secularism and their impact on modern intellectual and cultural history, particularly in Germany. I’m currently working on the history of modern worldviews, and planning a future book on the journey of “Weltanschauung/worldview” from 1790 to the present that will take the reader from Germany to the US, Netherlands, UK and the Soviet Union. It will examine Weltanschauung as one of the chief terms through which moderns have experienced and conceived of systems of thought and belief.

    The study of cultural heritage in a faculty of theological and religious studies makes Groningen’s master’s degree unique. Theoretically and practically, however, our innovative approach stands squarely within international trends. First, it helps meet the call issued by organizations such as the Unesco for the preservation not just of the physical sites, but also of the “intangible” heritage of world cultures. Religion lies at the core of every intangible and living culture.

    Second, the theory of heritage has developed in dialogue with religious studies. Heritage is not just about preserving the past, but giving people places and paths to experience loss. Sites of memory play sacral roles for states, communities and individuals. The study of religion helps us ask important questions of heritage practice: Are heritage sites maintaining religious traditions or repackaging them for touristic consumption? Should they serve as a locations of religious-secular dialogue in a post-secular world?

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  • 
								Testimonial of Fardo Eringa

    Close encounters with the lasting influence of religion

    – Fardo Eringa
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    I followed the Master's track in Religion and the Public Domain, but the course units on religious heritage from this track have now been included in the track in Religion and Cultural Heritage. The thing I liked most about the course units was how the present and the past are linked together. They focus in a very concrete way on the position of religion in Western Europe.

    You go on a lot of field trips and encounter the lasting influence of religion and the position that it takes in our society from up close, for example by studying the roots of the Devotio Moderna in Deventer or by singing the St Matthew Passion together and thus feeling its impact.


    I wrote my Master’s thesis on the phenomenon of ‘Michaeling’: fans following in Michael Jackson’s footsteps through a pilgrimage that brings them closer in spirit to their idol. I studied whether this was a new religious phenomenon, and concluded that the answer to this question is yes. ‘Michaeling’ is a typical example of the various forms that religion can take in our modern, post-secular society. And there is no doubt that this is a genuine pilgrimage, a spiritual experience of the kind that we associate primarily with the Middle Ages. For my research, I studied the experiences of eleven pilgrims and the Michael Jackson shrine in Germany.


    According to his fans, Michael Jackson’s core message was to ‘Heal the World’ through love. Some fans feel that Michael Jackson can be seen as a new Messiah, sent by God to show people what is really important, namely love. Michael Jackson is placed by his fans within a very broad spiritual context. The followers I spoke to call themselves spiritual, but they are reluctant to commit to a specific religion. What is remarkable is that most of these fans express very Christian ideas. For his followers, Michael Jackson acts as a kind of mediator, clarifying their prior religious allegiance. It is as if Michael Jackson helps them to transition from theory to religious practice. They integrate Michael Jackson into their belief system, where he comes to play a key role as a spiritual guide, offering his fans concrete guidelines for distinguishing between good and evil and giving shape to their lives. His followers believe that Michael Jackson was severely persecuted and that he suffered tremendously as a result. However, this did not stop him from fighting for his ideals and for his fans, which makes him a true martyr in their eyes.


    After I graduated, I went straight to work for the University of Groningen Humanities Support Desk, where I helped organize educational projects for secondary schools. One of the projects I was working on was De Kerk: maak er wat van!, which we set up together with the Historical Groningen Churches Foundation and which focuses on redesignation of church buildings that are no longer used as such. A year after graduating, I started as a PhD-student at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen, further researching the fascinating phenomenon of ‘Michaeling’.

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Study support

Master's students are expected to show a large degree of independence. If necessary you can make use of various forms of study supervision and study support. For example, you can contact a mentor or your study advisor. While writing your thesis, you will receive personal supervision from one of the lecturers.

Immediately after arrival, students who gained their Bachelor's degree at a different faculty or university as well as international students will be allocated a mentor who will help them get to know the Faculty. You can also go to the study advisor if you have doubts about your abilities or for whatever reason run the risk of study delay. You will receive intensive supervision while writing your thesis. The Master's programme includes a thesis seminar, where attention is paid to how to tackle writing a Master's thesis, and where the progress of the process is monitored closely. You will also receive structural supervision from the lecturer who is the specialist in the field of your thesis.