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Program Mission

Explore religion in its social, cultural and historical dimensions! In Bochum, you will:

  • learn to theoretically reflect on religion as a social phenomenon, based upon approaches from sociology, anthropology, philosophy and philology
  • gain insights into the history of religion from ancient times to the present, based upon historical or philological and contemporary sociological research
  • establish your individual scientific profile by focusing on different areas in the history of religion
  • prepare yourself for a later career – either in academia or in extra-academic occupations

Interdisciplinary Approach

The MA program in Bochum is unique compared to other programs by its integration of two distinct scientific branches in the study of religions: On the one hand, Graduate students are equipped with theoretical and methodological expertise from a wide range of social and cultural sciences. This blend of approaches helps them explore religions in their social and cultural environments. On the other hand, students are trained in philological and historical research, enabling them to read and reflect upon historical sources.

Focus on the History of Religion from Antiquity to Modern Times

Researchers in Bochum explore the history of religion from early times until modernity, with a regional focus on Europe and Asia, including the Americas in modern times. Please consult the lists of courses and instructors for more information on which religious traditions, regions, and topics are covered. If you are uncertain whether the desired area of interest is covered in Bochum or not, please feel free to ask our dean of students Dr Jens Schlamelcher.

Individual Profile

Each MA student has the opportunity to acquire unique expertise and research skills in different ways. Our students enjoy great freedom in terms of the regions, time periods, and traditions they wish to focus on. Depending on this, students will need to enhance their language skills as well as their methodological and theoretical training. Note that it is important to have some previous knowledge in these areas before you start your program in Bochum.