The Religious
Innovative Master's Program of Moscow State University
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Landscape of Asia

The Religious Landscape of Asia

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WORKLOAD: 120 credits
learning conditions
MASTER’S IN: Religious Studies
DURATION: 2 years
TUITION FEE: 418 470 RUB/year (international rate);
383 550 RUB/year (domestic rate)

This Master’s program will take you on a unique journey through the religions of the great and mysterious Asia, introduce you to the values that its peoples seek to express in religious teachings and symbols, to the beliefs and cult practices that originated in ancient times and still define the lives of many people both in the East and in the West at present. Students will deepen and expand their knowledge about the variety of religious experiences and current trends in the development of state-confessional, interreligious, and intercultural interactions in Asian countries.

The program focuses on the history, teaching, traditions, religious and state institutions in Asia, religious experience, philosophy, and anthropology of religions, the influence of religions on spiritual and social life, to arts and everyday culture in the broad region from China and East Asia to South, South-East Asia, and the Middle East. We will discuss different schools of Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Shinto, Hindu, popular and folk religions, etc., as well as the perception of Asian religions in Western culture and vice versa.

The Master’s program is based on the educational standard of Lomonosov Moscow University, which implies compliance with academic ethics, respect for the religious feelings of believers, an interdisciplinary approach, and a combination of classical and topical research strategies of religious studies. The training includes lectures, seminars, and self-study, as well as area studies and teaching practices. Electives, as well as a Master’s Thesis, allow the students to delve into a topic of particular interest. Tests, written tests, essays, and exams are used in the assessment of knowledge. The teachers and staff of the program strive to establish a friendly atmosphere and academically support students from admission to graduation.
Develop advanced skills in the conceptual understanding of the specifics of the intellectual culture of Asian countries and the trends of changes in the religious landscape in the Asian region in the modern era
Leading scholars of the Moscow State University, professors of the Faculty of Philosophy, the Institute of Asian and African Studies and the of School of Public Administration offer lectures, seminars, and regular contact hours
Expand and develop your skills to confidently navigate modern problems of religious studies and philosophy of religion
Foreign students can take Russian as a second language at no extra cost
Develop the ability to analyze modern government-confessional relations in Asian countries, to assess and predict risks in the field of interethnic and interreligious relations
Research opportunities for extended and in-depth studies of the religious landscape of a particular region, depending on the individual interest of the student
This Master's program will be useful for:

● academic researchers specialising in cultural and religious studies;
● communicators in humanitarian fields, culture, religions, politics with Asia and Middle East;
● civil servants, employees of governmental and private agencies who are responsible for the development of cultural communication with Asia;
● those engaged in NGO activities, employees of state and public organisations working with Asian countries;
● curators, museum workers, managers in cultural and educational institutions, cultural heritage sector, youth cultural centers;
● educators in all tiers of education;
● analysts and researchers for mass media, including print, television, radio, and online media.

General education modules:
●      History of classical European philosophy
●      Modern Communication Theories
●      Chinese language / Russian language for foreigners

Core modules:
●      History of Religious studies
●      Actual issues in Religious studies
●      Religion in the history of society
●      Sociology and geography of religions of the world
●      Socio-Political History of Asia 
●      Religious and Philosophical Traditions of the East
●      State-confessional Relations in Southeast Asia

●      Religions of South Asia
●      Religious Tradition in China
●      Buddhism as a world religion
●      Philosophy and practice of Taoism
●      Religious and Philosophical Teachings of Tibet
●      Islam in greater Middle East
●      Regional integration and the system of international organizations in Asia
●      Religion in Russia's "Eastern" Foreign Policy

●      Intercultural communication. Methods and practices

General education modules:
●      Philosophy
●      Conflictology and mediation in the field of interethnic and interreligious relations
●      IT-Technologies in Science and Education
●      Chinese language / Russian language for foreigners
Core modules:
●      Actual problems of Religious studies
●      Ethics of the religions of the world
●      Modern Religious Movements in Asia
●      Popular and Syncretic Religious Traditions in China
●      Christianity in Asia
●      Japanese Religious Tradition and Aesthetics
●      Meditation and Psychopractices in East Asian Traditions
●      Gender Issues in Asian Religions
●      Religious Conflicts in Asia
●      Orientalism and Asian Religions in the Western World
●      Public diplomacy of Asian countries
●      Science and religion in Asia
●      Country studies (practice)
●      Teaching practice

Master’s Thesis

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Who should apply?
Entry requirements
How to apply?
●      Bachelor or Master’s degree in any field of study, preferably in the humanities or social sciences.
●      English proficiency (no exam certification is required)
Entry exam in the history of religions
15th of June, 2022 – start of admission process.
Submission of documents for foreign applicants will be carried out in remote access on the MSU online platform for the submission of applications
If you have any more questions, you can ask them here
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