Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University
The Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, is one of the leading departments for the study of religions in Europe. With its three associate professors, six assistant professors, more than ten research fellows, more than thirty Ph.D. students, and approximately two hundred B.A. and M.A. students, it also ranks among the largest departments for the study of religions in Europe.
The Department for the Study of Religions was originally founded in 1991 as a joint section of the Academy of Sciences of the Czechoslovak Republic and the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno. In 1992, it became the first institution in the Czech Republic to open a five-year degree course in the Study of Religions, and, one year later, became a fully-fledged independent department of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University.
Study and degrees
The Department for the Study of Religions currently offers a three-year B.A. programme, a two-year follow-up M.A. programme and a Ph.D. programme. See study programmes for more information. The Department is the only one in the Czech Republic which has obtained accreditation for habilitation procedures and for full professorship procedures in the field of the Academic Study of Religions.
In the course catalogue, a list of our courses is available (detailed information on each course can be obtained by clicking on the course number).
The study programmes were designed in close cooperation with several universities abroad with an established tradition of providing education in the Academic Study of Religions (Burlington, USA; Marburg, Germany; Hannover, Germany; Aarhus, Denmark; London, United Kingdom). This close international cooperation has been maintained ever since through exchange programmes for students as well as teachers, within the framework of which the department have had the honour of hosting lectures by such outstanding scholars as Luther H. Martin, Jacques Waardenburg, Harvey Whitehouse, and Donald Wiebe (see lectures of visiting scholars).
The Department for the Study of Religions has a strong research focus. It is particularly engaged in research into the theory and methods in the study of religions, the cognitive science of religion, new religious movements, Chinese and Japanese culture and religion, the perception and accommodation of Eastern religions in the West, buddhism in Russia, questions of cultural and religious identity, religious traditions of the ancient Mediterranean world, and the history of Christianity. The list of past and current grants and the list of publications offer a more comprehensive picture of particular topics studied by staff and Ph.D. students of the Department for the Study of Religions.
The Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University is also the seat of the Czech Association for the Study of Religions and the editorial office of its journal Religio: Revue pro religionistiku.
Besides many other conferences, the Department for the Study of Religions had the honour of co-organising one of the most important events in the history of the academic study of religions in the Czech Republic, the Eigth conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions, held in Brno, Czech Republic in September 2008.