Master's Programme: Religious Roots of Europe (120 ECTS credits)

Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University, in cooperation with University of Copenhagen and University of Oslo.

About the Master's Programme: Religious Roots of Europe

Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) is a two-year Nordic Master’s programme offered by the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University in cooperation with two other Nordic universities (Copenhagen and Oslo). The teachers in the programme are consequently prominent researchers and professors from all three universities.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam all originated in the Middle East, but have grown to become the religious roots of contemporary Europe. This programme goes back to the roots and explores the early development of the three religions; not as isolated cultures but as traditions that have inspired one another and defined themselves in relation to each other. In the programme the three religions are studied not separately but together. And since history is not only about the past – but also about the past that is present – the religions are even studied in a contemporary perspective.

The application period is open from mid-October to mid-January. For the possibility of late applications, please contact our coordinator at Lund University (religiousrootsctr.luse). A new cycle starts each fall.

Programme coordinator: Andreas Westergren, religiousrootsctr.luse.

Apply for the Master's Programme: Religious Roots of Europe

Read more and apply for the Religious Roots of Euorope here.

If you need to take a course to meet the language requirement, CTR offers online courses in Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek, where the language of instruction is Swedish.

There are also online courses in Hebrew and Arabic, offered by University of Copenhagen, with English as the language of instruction. If you are interested in these courses, please e-mail religiousrootsctr.luse for more information.

Learn more about the programme

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“An atheist, a lawyer, an Adventist preacher and an orthodox monk have breakfast in a hotel at the edge of the old city of Rome…” What could be the beginning of an entertaining joke was actually my first encounter with the RRE programme. Having trained as a lawyer, I had applied to the master’s programme in order to gain a better understanding of the way in which the history of theology and religious thought has influenced our current understanding of law and society."

Valentin Jeutner. Photo.

"What drew me to the RRE programme was the way in which the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are studied in parallel, that a considerable emphasis is placed on learning and engaging at least two of four languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic) and the combination of in-person and online learning which allows for a lot of flexibility. I was especially attracted by the fact that, throughout the two years, the programme travels not just between three Scandinavian universities, but also to Rome, and to Israel / Palestine. It is one thing to discuss Mithraism, for example, a pre-Christian mystery religion, in the classroom; it is quite another to do so actually standing in a Roman, 1800 years old Mithraeum – the underground temple where worshippers of Mithras gathered to initiate members into their cult.

However, one of the most exciting aspects of the RRE programme are the discussions with the other students. While we learn a lot about the development of and historic relations between the three religions, it is remarkable to see how many of the questions we discuss in class subsequently become the subject of intense and fruitful debates among us students as we relate them to contemporary affairs or to our own backgrounds. Some students identify as believers, some are representatives of churches, some are declared atheists, some are mostly interested in history, some are at the beginning of their career, some have recently retired, some live in Scandinavia (most do not), some are interested in art, some in the languages. It is this mosaic of experiences and backgrounds that makes the RRE discussions so unique and enriching – in which other context do an atheist, a lawyer, an Adventist preacher and an orthodox monk discuss ancient mystery cults over breakfast at the edge of the old city of Rome?"

Valentin Jeutner RRE-student (11th cycle)

"Participating in the Religious Roots of Europe program through Lund University has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. When I joined the RRE program two years ago, I could not have known how much the program would stretch me academically and personally."

Theresa Haynes RRE student

"I began RRE self-conscious of my limitations as a nontraditional student who had been absent from the traditional classroom for several years, but with the help of my patient professors and wonderfully diverse cohort of students, I was able to succeed.

RRE is a unique program  that combines history and religious studies through a format of both online learning and in-person, international seminars. The result is a rich dialogue between students of diverse religious and national backgrounds. The combination of distance learning and in-person seminars also provides an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships. Whether it was exploring Roman ruins together or staying out too late in Copenhagen or simply making dinner in Oslo, I found the time we spent together deepened our friendships and enriched our learning experience.

I came into the program with a background in Christianity, but I am finishing having learned Hebrew and Arabic, the historical beginnings of Judaism and Islam, scriptures of the three Abrahamic religions, Jewish literature, apologetics, ancient Roman religion and the theoretical frameworks necessary to understand academic writing and research.  In the process I have become a better researcher and writer, transforming my historical interests from hobbyist to academic. It has been well worth the two years spent in the RRE program!"

Theresa Haynes RRE student (10th cycle)

"The RRE courses focus on how Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity and Islam developed in close contact with one another, a perspective which gave me a whole new understanding of the religious landscape in antiquity as well as today. Being a student within the RRE programme has helped me develop valuable skills."

Moa Airijoki

"While the distance studies taught me the importance of taking responsibility for my own learning process, the compact seminars provided me with valuable experiences of academic discussion and collegiality. These skills are much needed within my current position as Ph.D student at the University of Bergen in Norway."

Moa Airijoki RRE student (7th cycle)

Read more and apply for the programme!

Sidansvarig: johan.grevstigctr.luse | 2024-05-08