Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam

Research Master

Research Master Nature and the Supernatural

The programme is part of Religious Studies (Theology & Religious Studies (research)).
It is leading to a Research Master’s degree in Religious Studies and focuses on religious plurality in the Western world: differences within religions, differences between religions, and new phenomena, such as radical individualization, that reshuffle the religious landscape.

In this programme students will be gaining advanced knowledge about historical and empirical data and theory on the subject, secondary literature and source materials, engagement with research of staff members, advanced presentation skills and advanced research skills.

Notions of Nature and the Supernatural have been fundamental to human culture since antiquity.
The first half of this course introduces students to cosmogenesis, ideas of nature, myths of creation and accounts of the origin of the world – together with related notions, such as the World of Ideas or the Mundus Imaginalis – from a variety of religious cultures: ancient Greek, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The second half of the course will focus on a diversity of ideas concerning Intermediary Beings and the Supernatural, again drawing from a variety of cultures, ranging from ancient and medieval beliefs concerning angels and spirits, devils and demons, ghosts, and the undead, to current spiritist practices in religions like Voodoo, Umbanda and Candomble. Students will be expected to participate actively in class, present and discuss articles from the reading list, participate in a mini-conference at the end of the course, and write an academic paper.

In light of the Corona pandemic the course will be given online.

View this link for more information about the course in 2020-2021.