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University of Gothenburg

Short Summary

The master’s programme in Theology offers a well-rounded and advanced education with two specializations: biblical studies and systematic theology. If you specialize in biblical studies, you will develop skills in hermeneutics and interpretation as you focus on Jewish-Christian relations in the study of biblical and related texts, their historical and literary contexts, and their past reception and contemporary use. You will study in close contact with internationally recognized teachers active in research and leaders in their field.

About the Programme

Studying ancient and biblical texts not just in terms of their original contexts, but also with a view to how they have been used and interpreted, provides a deeper understanding of their character and meaning. Central to all inquiry into the origins and uses of the biblical texts is an awareness of historical conditions and their impact on the shaping and reception of the texts, specifically in the relations between Jews and Christians.

Another aspect to consider is gender issues and scripture and how this is translated into the Jewish and Christian traditions. Our programme is designed to provide you with an advanced and well-rounded understanding of theology. You can choose to specialize in biblical studies or systematic theology, but common to both is the critical investigation of a rich heritage with a view to contemporary concerns.

Regular contact with teachers in an international learning environment

We stand out from other theological programmes by providing regular contact with teachers throughout your courses and thesis work. Our teachers are leaders in their fields with international connections and broad experience in research from different parts of the world, such as Stellenbosch, North Carolina, Cambridge, Manchester, Rome, and Jerusalem.

Seminars and active discussions with your fellow students and teachers characterize our academic environment. You will also benefit from our exchange programme with the Theological Faculty at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, enriching your education with visiting teachers and South African students. The exchange programme allows us to send one student each term from Sweden to South Africa.

Create a unique profile for yourself

We offer a large number of courses, ensuring a well-rounded theological education while also providing space to follow your own particular research interests. The programme includes a mandatory course - Hermeneutics, Theology, and the Uses of the Bible - that students of both specializations take together. You will then choose elective courses, from our recommendations or according to your motivations. You will write your master’s thesis throughout the second year in parallel to course work, allowing you to hone your writing and research skills and produce a more competent thesis. This provides an excellent foundation for further advanced work in theology, such as doctoral work.

Specializing in Biblical Studies

The Biblical Studies specialization focuses particularly on Jewish-Christian relations in the study of biblical and related texts, their historical and literary contexts, their past reception, and contemporary use. Here are some examples of electives you can choose from to create your unique profile:

• The Bible in Jewish and Christian Relations
• Male and Female? Gender, God, and Humanity in the Hebrew Bible
• Jesus Among the Messiahs of Second Temple Judaism
• Crucifixion in Texts, Art, and Archaeology
• After Paul: The Later Epistolary Literature in the New Testament

Who Should Apply?

Are you interested in the historical and literary context of the Bible and related texts?

Do you want to know more about the past reception and contemporary use of these texts?

Do you want to deepen your knowledge about Jewish-Christian relations and the period in which Judaism and Christianity parted ways and became distinct religions?

Do you want to study how Jewish and Christian writings emerged historically and gain knowledge of how they have been used and interpreted differently?

If this sounds like you, then apply for our master’s programme in Theology specializing in biblical studies.

Content and Structure

The programme includes a mandatory methods course, common for students of both specializations, and a series of elective courses influenced by your specialization. We recommend course packages for each specialization, but you may supplement with other courses from our large offering. You may focus entirely on biblical studies or take courses in systematic theology or another relevant field, such as the history of religions or sociology of religions.

The second year is dedicated to your master’s thesis, which you develop with support from teachers and fellow students. You will choose your topic in dialogue with a supervisor who has expert knowledge and will guide you through the process. Taking courses and participating in seminars while you write your thesis results in a more competent and research-oriented thesis, which provides a stepping stone into further research, and also for writing and discussing texts at a high level in non-academic careers.

After Graduation

Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Arts in Theology with a specialization in biblical studies.

While our programme emphasizes preparing you for further research, the skills you develop throughout the programme are also applicable in non-academic careers, such as church ministry, policy making, and nongovernmental organizations. You will be equipped with the understanding and ability to provide intellectual leadership in a variety of contexts.