Multidisciplinary programme with emphasis on methodology

This programme approaches religion both as a human practice and as a cultural, historical, social, and transnational phenomenon. Religion interacts with countless other practices as well as social and cultural phenomena (i.e. art, media, economy, morality, politics), and influences these. However, religion is itself transformed by these interactions.

Thus, this programme has a strong emphasis on transnational approaches and the multidisciplinary use of methodology - you will learn to work with theories and methods from Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Media Studies.

Active involvement in research 

This Research Master’s programme is embedded within an internationally leading research institute that hosts many research projects and activities, such as colloquia and international conferences. You will study with renowned scholars who will actively involve you in their research activities and provide access to their networks. Read more about the Religious Studies research group.

Integrating different approaches

The Religious Studies programme focuses on Christianity and Islam, but also addresses Jewish and Buddhist traditions, local traditions (e.g. in Africa), and hybrid religious phenomena in contexts of diversity and in popular culture. A salient characteristic of this programme is that it offers you the possibility to systematically integrate approaches from Religious and Islamic Studies. If you wish to specialise in a subarea that requires a command of a source language (e.g. Arabic or Hebrew) you can deepen your knowledge of that language by means of elective courses or tutorials.

Partner programme and guest lecturers

In this Research Master’s programme, we collaborate closely with our partner programme at the University of Amsterdam. You will take core courses at both universities, and through electives and specialised tutorials you will have the opportunity to choose and develop your specific expertise. 

Colleagues from other universities in the Netherlands and abroad are integrated into the programme, for example as guest lecturers or as hosts for students studying abroad. As a student, you are encouraged to spend a period of studies abroad at another university, such as Munich or Toronto.

Teaching Staff

Our lecturers are internationally recognised as experts in their fields. As Religious Studies is a multidisciplinary programme, members from the teaching staff come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Core lecturers of the Religious Studies Master's programme include:

Dr Christoph Baumgartner
Dr Christoph Baumgartner

Christoph Baumgartner is Associate Professor of Ethics and Religious Studies. In his research, he is particularly interested in transformations of religious traditions, and in moral and political issues related to religious diversity in liberal and democratic societies.  

Prof. Christian Lange
Prof Dr Christian Lange

Christian Lange is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies. His main areas of interest are classical Islamic law, theology and mysticism. After having researched Islamic notions of paradise and hell for several years, he is currently directing a research project on the history of the senses in Islamic societies.

Prof. Birgit Meyer
Prof Dr Birgit Meyer

Birgit Meyer is professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University. She has conducted anthropological and historical research on Christianity in Ghana since the late 1980s. Next to this, she has worked on conceptual issues in the interface of anthropology and religious studies, focusing on religion and media, religion and the public sphere, and religion and visual culture. 

Meet more members of our teaching staff:

Teaching staff Religious Studies
Top-100 university


Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country. Several renowned international rankings place Utrecht University among the 100 best universities in the world. The teaching environment at Utrecht University is international: half of the Utrecht Master's programmes are taught in English. The existing and former academic staff of Utrecht University include twelve Nobel Prize laureates. Read more about Utrecht University.