Religious Studies Program was launched by the initiative of the Arizona State University (ASU) based on a grant of the U.S. State Department in 2004, with the aim to introduce the academic study of religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the region of South Eastern Europe. The University of Sarajevo has been recognised as an important academic institution in South-Eastern Europe due to its geographical, political and cultural role in this part of Europe. The American Embassy in Sarajevo has also included the International Multi-Religious and Intercultural Center (IMIC) to join this Project and help its implementation. Joint efforts of these institutions as well as of the Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo resulted in holding the International Symposium in Sarajevo, in spring 2005, under the title “Teaching Religion at the Public Universities in 21st Century”, which gathered prominent scholars from Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Norway and USA. During the Symposium, University of Sarajevo, Arizona State University and Norwegian Embassy (later on to be followed by the University of Oslo) signed the Memorandum of Understanding with clear provisions to launch the Master’s Program in Religious Studies at the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies of the University of Sarajevo. Seven scholars from Bosnia and Herzegovina spent the spring semester 2006 at ASU and developed 13 syllabi for the Program, which have been verified later on by the Senate of the University of Sarajevo.

Master’s Degree in Religious Studies has been implemented since September 2007 by the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies of the University of Sarajevo. Its curriculum has been designed through the educational partnership with Arizona State University,  University of Oslo, University of Copenhagen and University of Gothenburg. Two generations of students participated in the program so far.

The primary goal of the Program was to provide a central place within the University of Sarajevo for the academic study of religion. While the program was grounded in an appreciation for specific world religious traditions, including the courses on “Religions of the Contemporary World”, “Classical Islamic Thought” and “Christology Since the Enlightenment”, it has consciously sought to augment the study of specific religious traditions by addressing comparative themes and issues such as: religion and gender, religion and human rights, religion and nationalism, religion and violence.

Mandatory Courses

Sociology of Religion and Methodology; Religions of the Contemporary World; Ritual Symbol and Myth; Religion and Gender; Religion Violence and Conflict Resolution; Classical Islamic Thought; Religion and Nationalism in South-Eastern Europe; Religion and Human Rights; Contemporary Theories of Religion; Christology Since the Enlightenment.

Elective Seminars

Western Religious Traditions; Religion and Education; Religion and Social Justice; Comparative Religious Law.

Master’s Degree Diploma in Religious Studies was awarded by the University of Sarajevo. For the full course of study, the program awarded a total of 120 ECTS.