Religious Studies
Master programme

Degree Profile

Begin of study
winter semester
4 semester
Academic degree
Master of Arts (M. A.)
full time and part time
Faculty of Philosophy
Tuition fee
semester contribution only
Admission restriction
no restricted admission
Teaching language
German, English

Course Details

The MA programme in Religious Studies provides the opportunity to study the plurality of religious traditions in Europe in past and present. The programme combines methodological tools from History, Religious Studies and Cultural Studies to analyze the role of religion in Europe's complex and pluralistic societies, as well as their global entanglements from a postcolonial perspective. It is possible to focus on General Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies and the Cultural History of Orthodox Christianity. Each major is represented by a professor and a team of young researchers. The Department of Religious Studies forms part of the Research Area “Religion – Society– World-Relations” at the University of Erfurt.

The programme aims to:

  • provide a basic knowledge of the religious history of Europe
  • provide a profound knowledge in the selected major
  • enable students to use the methodological tools for analysing religion(s)
  • enable students to do independent research on religion(s) especially in plural societies past and present
The programme has four specializations (students select only one of them for their study):
  • General Religious Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Orthodox Christianity

Job & Career Perspectives

Our graduates work in the following professional fields:

  • adult and teacher education
  • around the topic of integration
  • with internationally operating governmental and non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations, the German Foreign Office or development aid organisations
  • media and travel companies
  • cultural institutions such as museums

Presentation of the Master's programme in Religious Studies (Open day)

Vorschaubild Video Master Religionswissenschaft

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Religious Studies in Detail

Structure of the study programme

At the beginning a specialization is chosen as the main focus of the course. Selectable are:

  • General Religious Studies (B01)
  • Islamic Studies (B02)
  • Jewish Studies (B03)
  • Cultural history of Orthodox Christianity (B04)

In the first two semesters, the corresponding two B-modules of the chosen specialization (a+b) must be taken. In addition, the two-semester compulsory module C01 "Religious Pluralism" as well as the three compulsory modules A01 in the area of "Religion in Complex Societies" must be taken. The Master Program requires a total of six module examinations in the study phase of three semesters: Two module examinations must be taken in each semester. In the fourth semester the Master's thesis is written.

Specialization 1: General Religious Studies

This theoretical and historical specialization is concerned with the question of how the subject of religion is theoretically grasped and constructed, described and reflected upon in various contemporary and historical cultures. It focuses on the cultural and social practices in which knowledge about religion(s) in the past and present is (re)produced.

General Religious Studies
Islamic Studies

Specialization 2: Islamic Studies

This specialization covers the cultural history of Muslim societies from the beginnings to the present. Their forms of articulation as well as media and carriers are documented and contextualized and examined for interrelationships also with non-Muslim cultures. The history of reception before and during colonialism as well as the current processes of modernization and potentials for action even in minority situations are dealt with. Theoretical and methodological questions of Islamic Studies are raised.

Specialization 3: Jewish Studies

The focus of this specialization is the cultural history of Judaism from antiquity to the present in its various cultural traditions, its own developments and interactions, and in its interaction with and demarcation from the cultural context. The development of Jewish law and Jewish philosophy as well as current topics of Jewish ethics are important fields of study.

Jewish Studies
Orthodox Christianity

Specialization 4: Cultural History of Orthodox Christianity

This specialization includes Orthodox Christianity from antiquity/late antiquity to the present day in its Byzantine Greek and Slavic (especially Russian) as well as in its diasporic forms within the framework of different socio-cultural contexts. The subject matter is their manifold mutual relations and interactions, the conditions and characteristics of their historical, structural and cultural development as well as their theologizing and systematization achievements, ritual practice, individual and collective obligations, social consequences and organizational schemes.

Study abroad

A semester abroad in an English-speaking country is strongly recommended. The International Office will be happy to assist you in organizing your stay abroad.

Study abroad

Admissions qualification

  • BA graduation in a relevant field, with a grade better than 2.3
  • very good command of English (level C1) as well as reading knowledge (B1) of a specialization language (see below)

Language requirements

  • knowledge of English at level C1
  • knowledge of a language of the chosen specialization (B1 level):
    • for Islamic Studies: Arabic, Urdu or Turkish
    • for Judaism: biblical and modern Hebrew
    • for Orthodox Christianity: ancient or modern Greek or Russian

The teaching languages are German and English. Other languages can also be accepted by prior arrangement.

Why Religious Studies in Erfurt?

Four reasons for the Master's program in Religious Studies

  • 4 program specializations
  • research focus "Religion, Society, and World Relations"
  • a uniquely broad basis in Germany for research into individual traditions and religious pluralism
  • optimal support ratio

Open Day

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Open Day: Hochschulinfotag

Numerous information and advisory services offer you the opportunity to see the study and living conditions in Erfurt for yourself at the open day. Get to know the green campus and the beautiful old town centre on guided tours. More information: Hochschulinfotag

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Apply now!

The recommended application period for the Master's programme Religious Studies is from 1 January to 15 July for the winter semester. *)**)

*) If your application is received by 15 July, the University of Erfurt will endeavour to inform you of the admission decision promptly after reviewing your application. By accepting the place, you can enrol immediately.

**) If we do not receive your application until after the recommended deadline of 15 September at the latest, we cannot guarantee that your application will be processed promptly; the last time decisions on admission are made is in the week before the start of lectures.

Application documents:

  • completed application form
  • one-page letter of motivation
  • tabular CV
  • copies of the certificates

Information for degree seeking students

Information on application deadlines and application modalities, admission, enrolment can be found at:

Apply now for Religious Studies! 

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Consulting & Service

Student advice and counselling

Subject advice and counselling Master Religious Studies
(Faculty of Philosophy)
Lehrgebäude 4 / Raum E05
Office hours
by arrangement
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