About us / Subjects

Study of Religions

Graphic element for the subject of the Study of ReligionsWe live in a time when religion is discussed, analysed, criticised or defended every day in the public arena. Mass media often use religion to help explain different social phenomena, and political discussions often cite religious arguments in a way that many find surprising.

Research

The Study of Religions is home to extensive research activity. Its ambition is that the courses taught shall, as far as possible, be linked to current research at Södertörn University.

Much of the research takes the form of research projects, run either by individuals or by research teams. A significant number of the projects are multi-disciplinary; members of research teams often represent various disciplines. Our researchers also emphasise international cooperation and international perspectives. A substantial amount of research is published abroad, either by international publishing houses or in refereed international journals. Works published in Sweden are usually written in English or in the Scandinavian languages. Many are included in the scholarly series Studier av inter-religiösa relationer ("Studies of Inter-Religious Relations"), which also publishes work by researchers from other national and international academic centres, as well as research from other disciplines that falls within the framework of the series. Whenever possible, the volumes och the series are published in cooperation with different publishing houses. In 2008, an electronic series with a more general focus on religious issues was initiated.

Our research is financed by a variety of external and internal bodies. Among the external financiers are the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters. Södertörn University's internal financier, the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen), is of particular importance. Funding from the Foundation allows us to invite guest researchers who help us create a vital, dynamic research environment. The area around the Baltic Sea is, moreover, an important regional research focus. Our researchers also have other, broad international research interests. Our research on Islam and Islam-oriented movements directs our attention to Central Asia, Africa and Europe, amongst other places. The fact that several of our scholars are studying new charismatic or Pentecostal movements also involves research in those parts of the world where this type of Christianity is rapidly spreading – for instance, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.