This course is discontinued

REL4181 – Historical Religious Texts

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course covers historical religious texts in their original language.

The selection of texts covered each semester varies according to the needs of the participating students, as the texts should be relevant to the students' master's projects.

Texts may be selected from Greek, Sumerian, and/or Acadian religious literature. Buddhist and Hindu Texts may also be covered as needed, by agreement with the department.

As needed, Buddhist texts will be read as a part of the "Intensive Course in Buddhist Philology", the aim of which is to teach the students to read trilingual Sanskrit-Chinese-Tibetan texts.

This course is suited for students who, to some degree, have a command of one or two of the three languages and who wish to learn additional Buddhist philology.

Learning outcome

The course provides the students with practical training relating to historical religious texts in their original language and aims to enable the students to use such written material in their master's projects.

Students are trained in lexicographic, grammatical, hermeneutical, and philological methods. Other religious-historical methods will also be covered.


Admission to the course is contingent on admission to the discipline History of Religion under the master's programme in Culture and Idea Studies.

The course is directly tied to the master's programme in history of religion, but can also be followed by students within other fields who need the skills provided by the course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must have some proficiency in the language in the which the text is originally written.

Recommended previous knowledge

A good command of English.


Teaching is given in the form of academic supervision.

The student's individual writing process is a central part of the teaching. Students alternate between working on their own projects and reviewing each other's projects.

Participation in the seminars is compulsory.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The grade is based on the semester project that the student completes, under supervision of their advisor.

The project must be 13–15 pages in length (approximately 2300 characters per page).

The topic of the project is assigned by the teacher at the beginning of the semester.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

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 pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Offered last time Autumn 2017


Offered last time Autumn 2017

Teaching language