This course is discontinued

REL4130 – Localization of Religion and Religious Change

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Typical of text-based world religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism is that they have spread from the societies where they originated to other places, where they have functioned in different social, economic, ecological, linguistic, and cultural settings. This course focuses on meetings, peaceful or otherwise, between world religions and local religious traditions. Such meetings are a two-way process, in which both world religions and local religions are transformed. In their meeting with globalizing processes, local religious traditions can be affected in various ways. There may be a movement towards secularization, or, quite to the contrary, towards religious fundamentalism. The result may also be a creative reinterpretation of tradition and/or the development of new religious expressions and forms. The course discusses these processes through an analysis of specific case studies, which will vary from year to year.

Learning outcome

The course consists of two parts: The first part gives a general introduction to the topic localization of religion and religious change and introduces various analytical categories that may be applied in order to understand processes of religious transformation. The second part of the course discusses how a particular world religion affects, and is affected by, local religious and cultural traditions.

The autumn semester 2006 will focus on Buddhism and its localization in various parts of East and South Asia (Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, and Sri Lanka).


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Each semester students with admission to a program or individual course need to apply teaching admission to courses in StudentWeb. If you already have admission to study at UiO, you can read about studies offered and admission to programs (studietilbud og opptak til program), or about the possibility for admission to individual courses with available seats (opptak til enkeltemner med ledig kapasitet).


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission as a Master student.

Overlapping courses

The course does not overlap with other courses at UiO.


The course is based on a combination of lectures and seminars. The process of writing is an integrated part of the teaching thorughout the course.

Teaching takes place throughout the semester.

Guidelines for obligatory qualifying essays


At the end of the semester the student shall present a course essay (8-10 pages, 2300 characters per page). In addition the student shall present some less extensive texts that reflect the student's activity in the learning process.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language