RESA3101 – Religion and Politics in Europe

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides a general overview of the interrelationship between religion and politics in Europe. The course maps patterns in state/church relationships, the scope and consequences of increased religious diversity and the growing interest in regulating the public presence of minority religions.


The course provides introductions to basic concepts that have evolved to account for and manage religious change in European societies, such as secularization, secularism/post-secularism and multiculturalism. The course has three main components:


  • The political management of religious change in Europe, including the dwindling attendance in churches, the growing presence of Muslim religious practices and the increase in people with no religious affiliation
  • The policymaking and governance of religion in regional institutions like the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights
  • The influence of religion on political parties and party affiliation in different parts of Europe, and the role of religious organizations as political actors

Learning outcome


  • An overview of major trends in the interrelationship between religion and politics in Europe
  • Familiarity with the most important political actors that shape religion policy in Europe
  • A working knowledge of the most important theoretical and ideological concepts that shape the interrelationship between religion and politics in European societies.
  • An overview of the religious diversities of European societies and the policies adopted in order to manage these diversities


  • Ability to contextualize religio-political changes and contestations in different parts of Europe, to understand where these processes come from and to discuss where they may be headed
  • Ability to examine and assess policies on religion in different parts of Europe, and to discuss their influence on religious practice
  • Ability to analyze and summarize court cases and policy papers on religion from the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights

General Competence

  • Ability to read, systematize and summarize research articles from a broad variety of different disciplines
  • Ability to formulate independent research questions on the interrelationship between politics and religion



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.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with RESA3201 – Bachelor Thesis: Religion and Politics in Europe


Mandatory activities
Students should submit a paper of 1000 to 1250 words reflecting on an assigned part of the syllabus. The paper should be written in English.


A three day home examination, 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.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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






Autumn 2018

Autumn 2017

Spring 2017


Autumn 2018

Autumn 2017

Spring 2017

Teaching language