Religious traditions and cultural memory at the crossroads of Europe and Asia – 15 ECTS



The course will give insights into religious and cultural traditions from antiquity to modern times, with a special emphasis on Istanbul and Asia Minor.

The course is primarily intended for students of humanities, religious studies and social sciences, but all with the Bachelor degree and an interest in religious and cultural traditions are welcome to participate.

The course will give insights into the themes of continuity and change in religious practice from antiquity to modern times. The course will concentrate on both ancient and modern religious cults in the Eastern Mediterranean, with focus on Asia Minor. Istanbul and archaeological sites in Western Turkey will provide the case studies for the three main topics of the course: Sacred places –cult and commercial centres from antiquity to modern times, Rituals uniting societies –their survival in religions and Istanbul at the crossroads of religions.

The course will study religious and cultural phenomena from a wider perspective and the economic and social factors that have created and support cults and myths. We study how the physical space and landscape form cult sites and how religion is connected to cultural, political and social phenomena during various periods, Furthermore, we analyze which traditions and rituals have impact on our lives, gender roles, our view on the family and our behaviour in the society. Through in-depth discussions, a workshop in Istanbul and visits to the religious sites the students will learn the practicalities of cult activities in antiquity by means of the study of archaeological remains, as well as in modern times by means of the study of active religious meeting places and the context of modern tourism and pilgrimage to holy sites.

The course will give the background to the history and religious reality of Istanbul and Anatolia. The course consists of an individual project work, a course presentation during the excursion and a PM after the completed excursion. During the first weeks, teaching and tutoring will be web-based. English will be the language used in Turkey but when needed the tutoring is given in Swedish.
The project work will be presented in English in an international workshop at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. The participation in the workshop in Istanbul will give the student the possibility to present the project work, to defend and discuss it in an international scientific environment, and the student will meet and develop contacts with an international scientific community. The course presentation in Turkey will be given in connection with the 10 days long excursion including study visits in Istanbul and a longer excursion to Troy, Pergamon, Ephesos and Izmir. The teachers will be responsible for tutoring, and will help with the writing process concerning the choice of theme, theory, method and practical details. The course period in Turkey is organized in cooperation with the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul and Istanbul University.


Study venues: Stockholm/Växjö and Istanbul Contacts
Language: English/Swedish – Stockholm University
Period: This course is currently not offered by USI
Pace: 100% – Linnaeus University
Application via: This course is currently not offered by USI