Learning outcomes

srel2m  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

The graduate in religious sciences prepares for the challenge posed by understanding and analysing complex problems linked to religious phenomena, in accordance with a multidisciplinary approach, in order to devise and contextualize innovative social interactions.

This master programme aims to train specialists in religion, who have threefold, multi-religious, multidisciplinary and multi-contextual, abilities.

The future graduate in religious sciences will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become: 

  • an expert capable of understanding a variety of religious phenomena as carriers of meaning, and to comprehend both the internal and external contemporaneous conditions surrounding a variety of beliefs and their transformations, in an in-depth way and in respect of at least two types of belief;
  • a scientist capable of carrying out a reflective analysis having recourse to a documented, multidisciplinary approach, based in science, which is cross-disciplinary and critical, in an in-depth way and in respect of at least two religious science disciplines;
  • an innovator asked to call upon his knowledge in an innovative manner in order to make relevant interventions in intercultural and interreligious issues and to propose new methods of interaction which are considerate to the different socio-religious and socio-cultural fields, in an in-depth way and in at least two different contexts.

On successful completion of this programme, each student is able to :

Demonstrate in-depth and critical mastery of foundational knowledge relating to the main contemporary religious phenomena, on the one hand, and to the different disciplinary approaches to religion, on the other.

1. Demonstrate in-depth and critical mastery of foundational knowledge relating to critical interpretation of the main contemporary religious phenomena (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism).
  • Demonstrate a critical reading and knowledgeable interpretation of the main religious texts.
  • Demonstrate critical comprehension of the historical sources.
  • Provide evidence of a critical and contextualised comprehension of the main religious traditions.

2. Demonstrate a critical mastery of foundational knowledge (theories, concepts and methods of analysis) relating to different disciplinary approaches to religion from the core curriculum (anthropology, law, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and theology).

3. Show evidence of a mastery of highly specialised knowledge concerning two religious traditions or in one of the basic disciplines in religious science, on the basis of the chosen stream (a) focus on religions (b) social anthropology in religions (c) psychology of religion (d) law and religions.

Carry out a cross-disciplinary, reflective and critical analysis of a religion/religious theme in all its complexity.

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different methodological, qualitative and quantitative approaches used to analyse religions by means of the main religious science disciplines.

2. Understand the contributions provided by various disciplines and paradigms in the concrete analysis of a religion, the specific features and characteristics of each disciplinary approach and their synergies.

3. Call upon at least one disciplinary approach (specialised methodology) to religious sciences as well as the foundations of other methodologies in humanities in a relevant, in-depth and critical way in order to approach and analyse a religion.

4. Realize a comparative process, aiming to locate a religion/a theme in at least two religious traditions and two disciplines.

5. Integrate the complexity of religious phenomena into a cross-disciplinary analysis.

Create and realize original, personal research implementing a rigorously scientific, methodological and critical process in order to go deeper into a research issue in the field of religious sciences.

1. Set down and define a research issue in religious sciences, in the context of a specific discipline or involving a cross-disciplinary process.

2. Consolidate the documentary sources in religious sciences (identify, collect and select), by making active, critical and relevant use of the information tools and by questioning the validity and relevance of the sources as regards the research problem being studied.

3. Realize a critical summary of the scientific literature (in French and in English) which is relevant to this problem, making sure to contextualize the problem in relation to current knowledge.

4. Define working hypotheses and argue them.

5. Construct and implement a relevant and rigorous methodological analysis process considering the problem being studied, justifying his choices and methodologies.

  • Where appropriate, construct a theoretical development, calling upon the theoretical frameworks and relevant methods of analysis, in the context of a specific discipline in the field of religious science or involving a cross-disciplinary process.
  • Create and realize, where appropriate, an empirical, quantitative and/or qualitative study, calling upon the appropriate analytical tools.

6. Analyse and interpret results (data) including the criticism being argued.

7. Integrate research results into a conclusive argument in order to present a reflective and prospective process.

8. Demonstrate the critical rigour, precision and distance (both in his own work as well as the knowledge and methodologies used in it) which are essential to all work at university level.

Interact and intervene, from a religious point of view which is mindful of what is appropriate, in respect of questions/examples of social integration in intercultural and interreligious contexts.

1. Perceive and determine the appropriateness of a religious approach in respect of questions of social integration in an intercultural and interreligious context and of their preconceptions.

2. Call upon his knowledge of religious sciences in order to contribute to the analysis and debate surrounding integration questions in an intercultural and interreligious context by constructing a point of view anchored in a multi-religious, interdisciplinary and multi-contextual approach.

3. In so doing, be mindful of the problematization and responses which result in view of the angle from which the question is analysed.

4. Assert the relevance of his religious point of view and contribute to the development of responses which are relevant and based upon a responsible citizenship.

5. Innovatively integrate the treatment of specifically religious matters into real situations and, to that end, become familiar with the basics of at least one of the following measures: intercultural mediation, inter-faith conflict resolution, religious persons’ treatment in the media, or management and religion.

6. Integrate and intervene where relevant into collective and inter-disciplinary, multicultural processes.

Communicate and converse, in writing and orally, professionally and respectfully by adapting himself to the people he is speaking to (specialists and non-specialists) and to the context.

1. Participate orally and in writing in a clear, reasoned and structured manner which is concise or exhaustive (as required by the particular case) in a scientific exchange relating to religious science.

2. Communicate and popularise, orally or in writing, complex subjects in religious science (the foundations of understanding, reflections, conclusions, plans for real action) in a manner which is clear and structured in accordance with the communication standards particular to the (socio-cultural) context and by adapting his communication to the target audience and aim.

3. Communicate in English orally and in writing in a clear, coherent, reasoned manner and with ease on subjects generally or those relating to religious sciences.

4. Use appropriate means of communication (written, oral, audio-visual, new media).

5. Converse in an efficient and respectful manner with different parties (both from a socio-cultural and a socio-religious point of view, as well as from the starting point of the fields in which they practice and the domains where they possess disciplinary expertise) by demonstrating an ability to listen, an openness of spirit, tolerance and empathy.

6. Recognise and take into consideration different points of view and ways of thinking.

Act as a socially responsible, respectful person demonstrating “detachment” on the basis of an approach which is conscious of the ethical issues and respect for the many religious beliefs and convictions within democratic society.

1. Analyse the learning outcomes and practices in a critical manner being mindful of stereotypes and anachronisms.

2. Ensure intellectual independence and ethical, social responsibility, the taking of beliefs and convictions seriously and a critical ability within a pluralist and democratic society.

Practise lifelong independent learning and personal development.

1. Manage work independently: define priorities, anticipate and plan all activities within the time allowed, including in changing, uncertain or emergency circumstances.

2. Challenge and know themselves: perform self-assessments by analysing errors and successes, identify strengths and weaknesses and how they are functioning personally in the relevant context.

3. Develop as a person and as a professional: construct a personal project in accordance with his own values and aspirations, manage his motivation and involvement in and fulfilment of the project and persevere in complex situations.

4. Independently identify and integrate new knowledge and skills which are essential for quickly understanding new socio-political and religious contexts.

5. Adopt a system of learning and continuing development (“lifelong learning”) which is essential in order to progress in a positive way in his social and professional environment.