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 Dennis Vanden Auweele (Belgium): Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion. He specializes in continental postmodern philosophy of religion. Existential themes including pessimism, evil, suicide and mercy are at the heart of his 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 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.
Much of the research by the teaching staff connects with the activities of the Research Centres in our Faculty:
- The Centre for Religion and Heritage analyses the cultural legacy of several religions.
- The Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalization explores the contentious role of religion in the public sphere in contemporary Western and global society.
- Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia discusses social functions and discursive identities of religion in Asia, past and present.
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.