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Why choose this programme?

Religions are part of complex societies, facing other faiths and intersecting differences based on gender, class and culture.

Historically, religion has been a source of conflict in the form of oppressive systems, confrontational identity politics and gender discrimination. But religion has also been, and continues to be, a resource for personal formation, for resistance, and for building coexistence.

Theology may support conflict-oriented identity formation, or foster dialogue and interaction across societal and religious divides.

Highlighting the interaction between experience, religious tradition and theological reflection, and including both historical and contemporary perspectives, this two-year Master program offers a broad approach to diversity. The program investigates the connectedness between religious and other identities in pluralist societies. Lived experiences – for instance, with migration, conversion or gender discrimination – are part of the program’s analytical horizon.

The Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo has a wide-ranging expertise in historical studies, biblical studies, Islamic studies, interreligious studies, gender- and post-colonial studies, contemporary theology, and practical theology. Thematically, theoretically and methodologically, the program draws on all these competences.

The Faculty’s long-standing relations with researchers and academic institutions, also in the global South, will be an important resource for the program.

Learning outcomes

The objective is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of religious diversity, interaction and coexistence, in historical and contemporary perspectives. This includes the relation between religion and socio-political challenges (such as violence, justice, migration and gender), religion as lived experience, and the impact of religion and textual authority on social and cultural interaction.

The program aims at developing the student’s knowledge and discernment in a critical and constructive manner. It will help the student to become a skilled agent in handling diversity related to religion – for instance, in teaching contexts, in the media, in faith communities, in NGO’s, in public administration, etc.

The work on the Master thesis will acquaint the student with applying relevant theories and methods in the exploration of religion, theology and diversity. The choice of subject will be made in consultation with the program leader and an assigned supervisor who will guide the student throughout the writing process.

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