This course is discontinued

TFF4230 – CANCELLED: Tracing Global Religious Movements: Mission, Pilgrimage, and Ritualization

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Course content

This seminar explores the movements of bodies, belief and objects through space as motivated by religious experience and narrative. We will look at the practices of pilgrims and missionaries, the travel of the faithful to mission fields and pilgrimage sites, and other ways of walking as ritual practices and interaction with culture and nature. Tracing these religious movements across territories that are reshaped through these practices and exchanges, we will in particular explore the history, contemporary expression and future potential of Christian pilgrimage, its rituals and narratives.

We will ask how past narratives and images inform belief and practice around mission and pilgrimage today. Can pilgrimage as a ritualized religious practice engender a movement to counter climate-change and promote sustainable earth practices? We will also explore possible links between pilgrimage and environmentalism and new nationalism in Europe. Case studies will include pilgrimage both internationally and in Norway, in particular to Nidaros and Selja.


Learning outcome


Through this course, the students will have obtained insights into the history and contemporary expressions of mission and pilgrimage. The students will have obtained knowledge about ritual theory and theoretical perspectives on various practices relating humans and nature. Through the development of an essay on a self-chosen relevant topic, the students will learn how to apply these theoretical insights to their own argument.


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.

The course is also offered as continuing education.


The course is available to single course students with the relevant background. The student must hold a bachelor degree within a relevant field (theology, religious studies, anthropology, history etc.), and be registered at the University of Oslo, e.g. as a single course student at bachelor level. A short application must be filed to, within two weeks before the deadline for registration to classes and examination. Please state personal information and academic background.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.



It is expected that all students come to class having read the materials, prepared to engage in class discussions.

Mandatory requirements:

Each student must participate in 80% of the course sessions.

Each student will give two short oral presentations on the course literature. During the course, a proposal and outline problem for the term paper must be turned in (1-2 pages). The instructors will be available to give feedback and support in the writing process.



Term paper, 3000-4000 words.

Language of examination

The term paper can be submitted in either Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2014


Autumn 2014

Teaching language