This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

The aim of this course is to give students advanced knowledge of how individuals' self-understanding is constructed partly in dialogue with religions and world views. The focus is on how this is played out in modern, diverse, secular societies often in hybrid forms.

Learning outcome

  • Have advanced knowledge of how religion can be part of identity formation and negotiation
  • Have advanced knowledge of the concept of identity and how this is used in discussion about the role and function of religions and world views

  • Be able to analyse the role of religion in relation to issues of identity and belonging
  • Be able to discuss how religion is used in identity politics

Generic competence
  • Be able to use knowledge and skills to discuss religion, identity and belonging
  • Have a critical understanding of concepts used in literature on religion and identity


While organised religion is marginalized in many Western societies, religiosity and values are present in everyday life, work and politics, including identity politics. This course focuses on how religion contributes to the value orientation, daily practices and identity of individuals and how the individual belongs to and sometimes distances him/herself from social groups. Here, religion and worldview intersects with other identifications and positionings, like gender, class, national background and lifestyle, resulting in hybrid constructions. Religious dimensions can be important in the development of young people's self-understanding.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
School exam1/15 hoursA - FNone permitted

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Geir Skeie
Course teacher
Anne Kathrine Kalvig , Jon Skarpeid

Method of work

Lectures, seminars, group work

Open to

Open to students at Master of Religion, Culture and Society, Lektorutdanning trinn 8 - 13 and as a singel course.

Course assessment

Survey by departement


Literature (to be completed):
McGuire, M. B. (2008). Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA
Day, A. (2011). Believing in belonging: Belief and social identity in the modern world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Day, A. (2010). 'Believing in belonging': An exploration of young people's social contexts and constructions of belief. In S. Collins-Mayo, P. Dandelion, & K. Aune (Eds.), Religion and youth (pp. 97-103). Farnham: Ashgate.
von Bromssen, K., & Risenfors, S. (2014). The "Immigrant Corner": A Place for Identification and Resistance. European Educational Research Journal, 13(6), 632-645. doi:10.2304/eerj.2014.13.6.632
Berglund, J. (2013). Islamic identity and its role in the lives of young Swedish Muslims. Dynamics of Muslim Life, 7(2), 207-227. doi:10.1007/s11562-012-0191-1
Nicolaisen, T. (2009). Hindu Children's Attitudes to Identity Constructs and Diversity: A challenge for Norwegian Religious Education. In G. Skeie (Ed.), Religious Diversity and Education - Nordic Perspectives (Vol. 11, pp. 181-195). Münster: Waxmann.
Meijer, W. (1995). The Plural Self. A Hermeneutical View on Identity and Plurality. British Journal of Religious Education, 17(2), 92-99.
Arweck, E. & Nesbitt, E. (2010). Young people's identity formation in mixed-faith families: continuity or discontinuity of religious traditions? Journal of Contemporary Religion, 25, 67-87
Voas, D & Crockett, Alasdair (2005): Religion in Britain: Neither Believing nor Belonging, in Sociology, 39(1): 11-28, DOI: 10.1177/0038038505048998

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 20.08.2019