Master Programme: The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE)

How were Judaism, Christianity and Islam formed? How did these three religions and their interaction shape the emerging European culture and society? These are pivotal questions addressed in this international Master Programme.

A joint and international programme

The Master Programme is offered in cooperation between the six Nordic universities of Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lund and Oslo. Compact seminars are organised at all these institutions as well as in Nordic institutes in the Mediterranean area. RRE offers a truly international education with perspectives for a subsequent career in research and education as well as in governmental and private institutions, organisations and companies were the need for knowledge on religion and culture is increasingly recognised.

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Theme: The Religious Roots of Europe

Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Christianity, Judaism and Islam interacting with each other have had a profound influence on the development of European culture and society. For centuries Christianity has been the dominant majority religion; as minority religions, Judaism and Islam have been seen as the ‘other’ against which Christian European identity has been shaped.

The three religions have traditionally been studied more or less separately. The aspiration of the RRE is to study the three religions together in their formative periods from a comparative perspective and using a variety of approaches including historical, philological, social scientific and literary.

Doctrines, rituals, canonical texts, myths and religious institutions

Religious phenomena central to all three traditions, such as doctrines, rituals, canonical texts, myths and religious institutions are studied along with the relationship of the three religions to society, politics, law and ethics. Other topics that may be studied during the Programme include ideas of martyrdom, justification or condemnation of war, asceticism, religious authorities, gender issues and different strategies for interpreting authoritative religious texts.

These and similar issues are studied using different approaches, including those drawn from history, anthropology, the social sciences, literature, and philology.