Kies op maat

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Intercultural Understanding & Religion

The aim of this course is to foster cultural and religious literacy and sensitivity, and a critical awareness of personal values, world views and preferences among teachers and other professionals. The student discusses theories of religion, secularization, and the development of values in the context of cultural and religious pluralism. Participation in and facilitation of dialogue, and conflict resolution is part of the course. The approach to issues of value pluralism and religious diversity are both theoretical and practical, and the students are expected to participate in workshops and exercises, as well as to actively enter into theoretical discussions relevant to the subject of study. The subject is studied with global awareness and international issues in mind.

The course consists of three modules of 10 ECTS each: Module 1: Practical ethics and philosophical practice. Module 2: Culture, religion and society; Module 3: Major world religions;


1.                  The student is able to:

  • understand and discuss concepts such as, globalism, nationalism, androcentrism, eurocentrism, racism, gender, equality, and inclusion in relation to international and intercultural education and professional teaching practice.
  • discuss pluralism and universalism of values in local and global perspectives with specific reference to education and moral education.
  • describe the history of ideas of Human Rights, the international conventions of Human rights, and the convention of the rights of the child.
  • describe and understand nonreligious outlooks on life including humanism, Marxism, existentialism, feminism and atheism.
  • explain and discuss orientalism.
  • understand theories of intercultural and religious literacy, and show their relevance for teaching primary school in and international and diverse setting.
  • discuss religious and intrareligious diversity.
  • describe history, central beliefs and practices of major world religions in the modern world, and discuss the cultural and historical influence of major world religions and their various directions.
  • discuss secularism, secularization and the role of religion in global issues.
  • explain theories of Fundamentalism, Islamism and terror.
  • discuss the role of religion in selected historical and contemporary conflicts.
  • explain basic characteristics of religious academic methods, e.g. historical, critical, comparative, sociological method.
  • explain and discuss basic ethical concepts and positions, and their importance, opportunities and limitations in relation to educational and professional ideals.
  • discuss the relationship between religious, cultural, ethical and existential questions in the conflict between tradition and modernity as well in international and intercultural settings.
  • understand and describe basic philosophical perceptions/standpoints, including philosophy of life.

Aanvullende informatie

In order to fully prepare you for your Kies op Maat study at NHL Stenden, two introduction days -together with incoming exchange students from abroad- are scheduled. During these days you will get a campus tour, meet teachers and staff, learn how to use (ICT) facilities on campus and you will be introduced to the student life. Moreover, we offer an introduction to our learning system: Problem Based Learning (PBL). Understanding the PBL system is fundamental for your successful study experience at NHL Stenden. Therefore we expect you to be present these two days.


Entry level requirements: sufficient level of English (C1) and propedeuse HBO


Compulsory work requirements are class presence and participation in various class activities. For each module, the student is to complete one study product covering the aim and central knowledge and proficiency areas of the module. The product is marked pass/fail, and passing is a requirement for taking the final exam. The study product forms the basis for the final oral exam of the whole course (30 ECTS)

The final exam consists of an oral examination / practical assessment based on the study products (portfolio) from the three modules, and covering the professional view, knowledge and application of knowledge in the areas of the whole course.

The Portfolio is assessed as an digital product and the assessment is completed with an oral exam in front of peers and lecturers.


Esposito, J.L., Fasching, D.J., Lewis, T.T. (2014). World Religions Today. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haidt, J. (2012). The Righteous Mind. New York: Vintage Books.

Pals, D. (2014). Nine theories of religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Additional literature

A wide variety of books and journals are available in the university library.


To be issued. Two or three contact days a week