Even today, religion continues to have a major influence on modern conceptions of culture, ethnicity, nationality, government, law and political and military conflict resolution methods. Religion also influences people's attitudes toward the environment, nutrition and technological innovations such as biomedicine, for example. The MA program in Religion in Contemporary Society provides students with the analytical instruments they need for a critical study of the role religion plays at the interface between social, political and ethical issues. For example: What types of religious arguments are used in the political realm? What role do religious interpretations of the world and the meaning of life play in sustainability debates?
Globalization and localization
Globalization is an important topic in the Master program in Religion in Contemporary Society: General theories of globalization are used to develop instruments for a synchronous analysis from a global perspective of the complex and associated phenomena of politics – governance – ethnicity – knowledge transfer – technological modernization – religious ordering of meaning. These phenomena are examined in more detail using local examples, even as the global links between them are studied as well.
Methods of empirical social research
Religion is studied in the RCS program as a social human fact. The program therefore conveys important theoretical and practice-oriented knowledge of various methods of empirical social research. These methods are applied to actual research situations. Visits to religious communities and the analysis of data collected by the students themselves are integral components of the program.