Why is Jerusalem still such a contested place? What are the reasons for the systematic destruction by the Islamic State (IS) of the cultural heritage of the past? Why do sacred texts produced centuries ago continue to shape the lives of people today? How are they used and abused? Why does the sword sometimes replace the word in religious matters? How did religious groups, ideas and artefacts travel from one continent to another and how did that migration transform them? In other words, how did religious conflicts and encounters shape the modern world and why do they still matter today?
These are some of the topics MF Norwegian School of Theology tackles in its new M.Phil programme in History of Religions, with a primary focus on Religion in the Pre-Modern World: Encounters and Conflicts.
The study program is based on courses in history, religious studies and language. This includes courses in:
- one or more ancient languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Coptic, or Syriac)
- the history of Christianity and Judaism in their ancient contexts
- the material culture of Christianity and Judaism in antiquity (art, manuscripts, architecture, archeology)
The program provides opportunities to specialize according to the students' own interests, both through elective courses and through the writing of a thesis.
The Master's degree qualifies for further studies at the PhD level. The Master's program is a two-year academic course of study.