New Course on Inter-religious Interaction Launched This Year

Unique collaboration between the University of Oslo, Lund University, and Harvard University has resulted in a new course, which focuses on how Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Samaritanism developed alongside one another, and shaped one another’s identities in this process.

What really marks Space, Art and Identity in Synagogue, Church and Mosque as different from many other courses aiming at understanding inter-religious interaction is the foregrounding of archaeology and art as source material, rather than the more common, and more narrow, focus on literary texts. The course is taught online, except for the last three weeks of the term when students will take part in an archaeological excavation in Galilee, and be involved in several excursions both in Galilee and Jerusalem.

Why choose this course? The recent rise of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia in the Western world and elsewhere has led to an increasing need for professionals who understand the diverse roles played by religions in society. All of the religious traditions addressed in the course, Judaism, Samaritanism, Christianity, and Islam, construe key aspects of their religious identities based on historical claims and concepts that were formed in antiquity, and refer to such historical discourses when addressing contemporary issues involving both conflict and other forms of interaction. The study of the foundational periods of these religions is thus crucial both in terms of understanding modern society and with regard to the analytical skills needed to address current issues of concern.

The course can be taken as an elective, or for credit within several MA programs, such as Religious Roots of Europe, and Religion and Diversity: Conflict and Coexistence. If you are already enrolled in an MA program, check with your professor if you may take this course for credit within your program. The course equals 10 ECTS credits.

For more information on admission and requirements, please see the course web page  or visit the RRE website.

If you have questions, please contact Professor Anders Runesson.

Deadline to apply is February 1st, 2017.

Published Jan. 12, 2017 1:20 PM - Last modified Jan. 18, 2017 12:37 PM