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Religion in the Public Sphere

Department: Religious Studies
Coordinator: Prof. dr. Hans Schilderman
Accessible to: B2 and B3 students of Religious Studies (including Islam studies)
Prerequisites: Completed 1st year Religious Studies (including Islam studies)
Period: 3 and 4


In this minor we study the role of religion in the public sphere with regard to media, policy and care. The public sphere is the shared life world in which persons freely exchange and discuss matter of mutual concern with a view to reach an agreement. As such, it not only offers a basis for social trust and proper functioning of democracy, but also criteria to demarcate private and administrative spheres and its respective roles and interests. Religions, with their ancient worldviews and ethics, prove to be ambivalent in the public sphere: sometimes they offer crucial resources for social functioning and sometimes they clearly oppose efforts to reach consensus.

In this minor, you will learn about three domains in which religions and public interest interact. In the three minor courses of media, policy and care, you will get acquainted with the double bind of religion and public sphere. The interactions studied will offer conceptions of religion, meaning, and spirituality on the one hand, and a number of normative issues in the various realms of the public sphere on the other. Our perspective on religion is comparative, and we will clarify how dominant processes such as secularization and privatization influence religions' impact on the social interactions and agreements in the domains of media, policy and care.

Period Course Course ID Credits
3 and 4 Religion and Media FTR-RSMI200 5
3 and 4 Religion and Care FTR-RSMI201 5
3 and 4 Religion and Policy FTR-RSMI202 5