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About us Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society 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 Religion, Culture and Society)
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 electives of their choice within the minor.

RCS students can choose to enrol in the course Spirituality and Secular Religion in Block 1A in combination with Quranic Arabic 1 or a university minor course at another faculty.

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

Programme options

30 ECTS or 15 ECTS

More information and contact

Please visit the UG minor page for more information about the information events, the registration procedure and frequently asked questions.

Or please contact Dr Andrew Irving, coordinator of the minor Art and Religion.

Quality Assurance

A. 'Home base' of the minor Art and Religion is the Bachelor Religious Studies.

B. The minor is covered by the programme committee of the Bachelor's Theology and Religious Studies.

C. The minor is covered by the Bachelor's Teaching and examination regulations (OER) of Religious Studies.

D. The minor is covered by the Board of Examiners of the Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society.

Last modified:29 February 2024 11.15 a.m.
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