Religious Perspectives on Europe
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIPPSB303
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
prof. dr. P.J.A. Nissen
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. P.J.A. Nissen
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. P.J.A. Nissen
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
SEM1  (31/08/2020 to 24/01/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After having completed this course, you will be able to:
  • explain the role of religion and especially of Christianity in the historical relationship between Europe and the world and to critically analyze the role of Christianity in European identity formation;
  • to recognize and explain the interconnection between European identity constructions and European perspectives on the non-European world and especially of the role of religion and culture in these perspectives;
  • to describe forms of non-western self-awareness and the importance of religious traditions in these forms;
  • to critically analyze the role of religion and culture in global relationships in the field of conflicts, peace, democracy and sustainable development.
Europe, once considered to be ‘God’s own continent’, now seems to be a continent without God. This course analyzes the role of religion, especially that of Christianity, in the history and the identity construction of Europe. It will follow the historical development by which Christianity, once a small Jewish sect from the Middle East, became the dominant religion of Europe and Europe became the center of Christendom. In the wake of colonialization and imperialism Europe spread its model of Christianity throughout the world. At the same time religion was on the return in Europe itself. Nowadays it is by far the most secularized continent in the world, where as in other continents after the decolonization religion plays an important and even growing role in public life and in indigenous identity constructions. On a global scale religion seems to claim its role again on the political agenda, e.g. in the field of peace and conflicts, democracy, civil society, and sustainable development. The question is: what will Europe do?
Presumed foreknowledge
First year completed.
Test information
Final paper of about 3.000 words.
This course is part of a three course module in the Philosophy, Politics and Society bachelor programme. Students can only be admitted if they also take the two associated courses during the same semester (retakes excluded). Students who are NOT enrolled in a bachelor, master, or exchange programme of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious studies cannot register directly for PPS modules. Instead, they can apply for admission by sending an e-mail to Such applications must contain a separate document in which you (1) inform us about your current studies, (2) explain which module you want to take and why it is relevant to your studies, and (3) describe what you bring to the classroom. The document must be written in English.
Required materials
A number of articles and book chapters will be provided to the students through Brightspace.

Instructional modes

Preparation of meetings
Students are invited to do preparatory reading for a number of classes.

Contribution to group work
In a number of classes students are invited to participate in group discussions on the topics of the course.

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock SEM1, Block SEM2

Final paper of about 3.000 words