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Students will have a unique opportunity to study the history of religion, development of religious teachings, practices and institutions on site. In addition, an opportunity to study religious art and architecture is one of the most important parts of this program. Students will study them, in one of the worlds most important religious and cultural cities.
The program addresses the critical societal need to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The Program in Religious Studies is based on the assumption that research and study of particular religious traditions contribute to the promotion of religious and cultural diversity, and cross-cultural cooperation.
With the MA program in Religious Studies, AURs mission is to educate future scholars and professionals who would be able to understand religious traditions in various historical contexts, and who would be able to apply their knowledge in the global society.
Upon completing the program, depending on their course of study and focus of specialization, students will be able to:
* Demonstrate a superior knowledge of the religious traditions of Rome, enabling them to understand, describe and analyze the culture, social and political systems in various historical periods that were under significant influence of these traditions
* Articulate the religious doctrines, practices and sacred spaces of ancient Roman religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam
* Discuss the religious topography of Rome
* Recognize the theories and apply the methods in the study of religion
* Distinguish the features of the three major branches of Christianity Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodoxy, their teachings, rites, saints and art
* Appreciate and explain religious art and architecture
* Read and discuss biblical texts and main approaches to Christian theology in the patristic era
* Read texts in Latin
* Discuss the historical involvement of religion in various forms of political culture
* Explain the practices of religious NGOs in Rome, and elsewhere in Italy, and their activities
* Discuss the contribution of religion and religious institutions to local societies, through their charity, cultural and other programs
* Describe and discuss the intercultural and interreligious dialogue and its significance for modern society
* Analyze how religions and religious institutions can contribute to modern society and its attempts to overcome some of the contemporary challenges, such as religious fundamentalism, ecological/economic crisis, immigration, and intolerance.
Students will also be able to clearly demonstrate that they have acquired the following abilities and skills:
* Research skills, necessary to study at the graduate level and to write research papers
* Ability to plan and execute an extensive research project
* High level analytical skills
* Ability to use and analyze source materials, including non-literary sources, and to appreciate the context of these sources
* Ability to communicate ideas and arguments effectively, in speech or in writing, in an accurate, focused and lucid manner
* Ability to critically analyze religious traditions and their teachings, and their role in the public and political life
* Ability to form a critical understanding of religion, culture and society in the late antique and Byzantine world
* Ability to recognize the potential for alternative interpretations in religious studies, and related fields (such as political and cultural history, history of ideas, and theology)