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School programs - Religion Studies

A Master’s Program in Religion Studies
Head of Program: Prof. Aryeh Kofsky

Goal of the Program
The goal of the program is to broaden and deepen one’s knowledge and understanding of religious phenomena and traditions through comparative studies and the possibility of specializing in any of the monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as well as in eastern and pagan religions. The program exposes the student to a wide range of religious systems, past and present, along with their social, spiritual, ritual and experiential milieus.
The program is aimed at those with a bachelor’s degree who want to enrich their knowledge and expertise in the field of religion, which has not faded in its importance and vitality despite the passage of time.
Program of studies*

A. Two core courses of 8 weekly hours (4 weekly hours each) from among the following courses:
Religion Studies: Historic Aspects
The Psychology of Religion
Introduction to Religious Philosophy
Issues in Religious Philosophy
The Nature of the Divinity

B. Core courses from among all the elective studies in accordance with the area of specialty, for a total of 12-20 weekly hours (depending on the department the student is registered in and on the track of study) as per the following topics:
Religions of the Ancient Near East (Bible Department)
Greco-Roman Religions (General History Department)
Christianity (General History Department)
Religions of India and China (Asian Studies Department*)
Pre-Colombian Religions (General History Department)
Judaism (Jewish Studies Department)
Islam (Middle East History Department)
C. Elective courses from the Faculty of Humanities or Social Sciences totaling 4-12 weekly hours (in accordance with the study track)
* The curriculum is still liable to change

How grades are weighted – Track A

The final grade will be determined by the average weight of the following grades:
Two seminar papers 20%
Average course grades 30%
Thesis 50%

How grades are weighted – Track B
The final grade will be determined by the average weight of the following grades:
Three seminar papers 45%
Average course grades 35%
Final exam 20%

Term of studies
The program takes two years (four semesters) for Track B, while Track A students are given a third year to finish their thesis.

Acceptance conditions:
1. A bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution of higher learning either in Israel or abroad, in accordance with the particular department’s acceptance requirements.
2. Candidates who are missing necessary background courses will be directed to the appropriate courses as determined by the program advisers and MA committee. Students will have to earn an average of at least 80 on these make-up courses to continue in the master’s degree program.
3. Students who are accepted to Track A (which includes the writing of a thesis) who have no command of a source language related to their specialty (Greek, Latin, etc) at a preparatory level will be required to study it as conditional students during the first year, and get a grade of at least 80 in that course to continue to the second year.
Upon completing the degree

This course of study confers a master’s degree from the department in which the student is registered, with a certificate of expertise in Religion Studies.