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Study of Religions

Study of Religions

Major subject – Study of Religions

Religions influence our ways of approaching ethical and moral issues and thereby characterise our communities and encounters with other people and cultures. As a student of Study of Religions, you will not only learn about non-Christian religions and secular and atheistic worldviews, but also learn to understand Christian cultures and traditions from a scientific perspective. Study of Religion deals with religion in the past and present from various viewpoints, including purely historical studies, comparative studies and studies in the psychology, sociology, anthropology and pedagogy of religion. In addition, you can study various thematic areas, including the interplay of religion and media or religion and gender. During your studies, you will learn the basic concepts and stances of different religious traditions, about the practice of religions, and about the religious conceptions and holy texts. You will also gain understanding of contemporary religious movements and trends.

Study of Religions can be studied as a major subject by students of humanities and Theology students. Studies in Study of Religions offer several specialisation opportunities. In the general line of studies, you can freely select specialised courses and minor subjects. In the area of cultural management, you will take Cultural Management as a short minor subject, but otherwise you are quite free to select courses of your preference. However, if you study to become a teacher of religion, you will study, along with your major subject, General Theology, Education and one other teaching subject as your minor subjects. During your studies, you will also have opportunities to travel abroad on study exchange. Study of Religions may be studied by other students as both a long and short minor subject.

Within Study of Religions at Åbo Akademi University, the central research areas include research related to religious diversity, encounters between culture and religion, media, gender and questions pertaining to scientific theories. Our research is strongly profiled in questions concerning contemporary religious evolution both in Finland and globally. We are in close cooperation with The Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History.

In addition to several projects funded by the Academy of Finland, the subject also has received funding for the following Centre of Excellence projects:

YARG – Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective: A Cross-Cultural, Comparative and Mixed-Method Study of Religious Subjectivities and Values in their Context, 2014–2018.

PCCR – Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape, 2010–2014.


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