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Research Master in Theology

Degree type
Language of education
Dutch, English
24 months
Tuition fee EU/EEA
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Tuition fee Non EU/EEA
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Education type
Start of program
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Application deadline
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Netherlands Government
Type of institution
Research University

Program description

The Research Master's program in Theology offers variety and excellence in all areas of western and non-western religious studies and theology.

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that religion is a very important factor in the interplay between people and the development of humanity in general, individually as well as socially. A thorough study of religion, taking into account all its specific qualities and dimensions, is of paramount importance to our present-day society.

The Research Master's program in Theology offers variety and excellence in all areas of religious studies and theology, with an emphasis not only on Christian (Protestant and Catholic) and Jewish traditions but also on other,non-western religious traditions, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism in particular. The programme aims at highly talented and strongly motivated students. Keywords are: in-depth academic knowledge of the research field of religious studies and theology, acquiring research skills, preparation for the PhD track and active participation in a wide range of research.

Research Master Theology Specializations

The Research Master in Theology program consists of a major in one of the four following key focus areas:

Biblical studies
Biblical studies focus on the comprehension of bible texts within their historical and cultural context. To be able to analyse and explain these authoritative and influential sources of religion and culture, you need to study Ancient Hebrew and Greek, the world of the ancient Near East, and the world of early Christianity.

Systematic and ethical studies
Systematic and ethical studies focus on the significance of religion and religiosity in the late modern, pluralistic society. The point of reference is religion as a phenomenon that is part of culture. Studying the Christian articulation and design of religion and its power of expression within contemporary culture can serve as an example of the interplay between religion and society. The same goes for the influence of developments in culture and society on the various different forms of religion.

Liturgical and Ritual Studies
Liturgical and ritual studies focus on the perpetual dynamics (changes, shifts, renewals) in the field of ritual repertoires. More specifically, the focus is on Christian rituals, in contemporary society, as well as in the past. The approach to liturgy is open, starting as it does from an open notion of liturgy. Liturgy is symbolic acting in which Christian, religious communities express their belief and identity. Liturgy cannot be separated from the ritual context (in an anthroplogical and cultural sense). There is the perpetual dynamics of cult and culture.

Religious pluralism
Religious pluralism focuses on the contemporary Dutch society, where we find Judaism, Christianity, and Islam represented. Taken into account are the influence of, and the tensions between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as the significance of secularity and modernity. The research is characterised by multidisciplinarity and the use of a variety of methods. Students use and learn about historical, empirical-analytical (etic), empirical-qualitative (emic) as well as systematic research methods.

Research Master Theology Related Programs

Besides the Research Master in Theology, Tilburg University offers several other Theology related programs such as the Research Master in Philosophy

See which other programs are related to the Research Master in Theology

Research Master Theology Scholarships

Students who would like to register for the Research Master in Theology will need to have sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses. Getting a scholarship could be the first step towards obtaining a top MA degree at Tilburg University.

See which scholarships you can apply for if you want to do the Research Master in Theology

About Tilburg University

At Tilburg University, our mission is to inspire students and faculty members to reach their full potential, and in doing so, reap a positive impact on the society around them. Our education and research is internationally inspired and is ground breaking. Tilburg is represented among the top institutes in the international university rankings.

Tilburg University educational programs instil a broad social awareness in our students along with critical personal and professional skills. Learning and development are offered at all career levels. Research endeavours aim to advance the frontiers of knowledge on issues and subjects of direct value to society – and are actively disseminated and applied within the community with this objective in mind. We play an active part in the local community and that of the region, the Netherlands and the entire world, maintaining close contact at all levels.

More information about Tilburg University

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