REDI4001 – Religion, Migration and Citizenship

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Course content

Migration is today one of the major international topics, both politically and ethically. Millions of persons are passing borders, many of them as refugees, others for other reasons, causes and future prospects. Contemporary politics and media have migration as one of their greatest concerns. The last couple of years the public and political conversations on the matter have become significantly polarized. However, behind and underneath the levels of pros and cons of migration, there are millions of people migrating, and innumerous people and civil society practices engaging in the migration challenge on day-to-day basis, regardless of political debates, closing of borders and principal discussions on the threats or enrichments the migrants and their agents represent.
Migration is also a topic for theology and religion. And vice versa. Religion is shaped and reshaped by migration, as migration is shaped and reshaped by religion. For those who are migrating, and for those who receive them.
The aim of this course is to deepen and expand competence within some key topics in religion and migration contexts. Migrants often participate in their home religion while on the move or in their new location. Religious organizations and projects contribute decisively to migration and refugee aid in most countries. The role of religion in settling down and creating a life in a new place, and for creating citizenship development of migrants and refugees is also often underestimated.

On the other hand, in receiving nations, religion is used both as an argument for closing borders and protecting the culture and values of the natives, as well as an argument for helping people in need.
The course will present important topics connected to migration and religion. Both content-related and methodological issues will be addressed. The focus will be on contested issues like the host/guest binary, the victim/agent binary and discussions of citizenship. There will be a focus on bottom up research approaches, both in the term paper and in the more epistemological approach.
Specific aspects of diversity, gender and intersectionality relate to the migration topic. These will be presented and discussed related to specific cases.

Learning outcome

The students will gain:
• insights to specific roles and impacts of religion in the migration context
• the ability to see and interpret how migration also formats religion
• the ability to critically interpret and analyze practices for and discussions concerning migration (and migration).
• understanding of the concept of acts of citizenship.
• insights to identifying expressions of religion and belonging beyond traditional forms
• the competence in identifying binaries, such as host/guest and victim/agent, and critically addressing such binaries.
• insights in core concepts of spatial approaches, and their impact in discussions on religion, migration and belonging.


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Students studying at master’s level on the Theology Programme and Teacher Education Programme may apply to the course by sending an email to


Access to teaching

The classes will be twenty hours of teaching, divided into five times four hours during the semester and a three day field trip to a migration location in Sweden.

For spring 2020 there will be a three day fieldtrip to Gothenburg 11. – 13. February. All students must buy and pay for their own train ticket to Gothenburg. For all students who are not admitted to the REDI and RESA masterprogram, there is an additional charge of 3000 NOK.

During the 4 hours unit there will be lectures on general perspectives and/or shorter student presentations of relevant curriculum texts. Priority will also be given to elaborate and improve the term paper between the classes.


Mandatory requirement

A three day field trip to a migration location in Sweden.

The topic of the compulsory term paper will be given in the first class. The term paper will be directly relate to the excursion. All students need to present a term paper draft after the planned excursion. This draft is a precondition to submit the final term paper.

Every student needs to present (10 min) one or more texts from the curriculum. The presentation must be posted on the online platform two days before the presentation in class.


Term paper, 3000-4000 words.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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 spring

The course description is under revision. The final version will be published November 25.


Every spring

Teaching language