The purpose of doctoral studies in the field of Philosophy of Religion is for students to cultivate, in the usual way for advanced studies, their ability to examine, using philosophical tools and approaches, religious phenomena and issues relating to the religious dimension of human culture, including theological thought and its traditions. Students learn to reflect critically on these approaches and their results and to interpret them both in their specific context and within the framework of current academic knowledge. In direct connection with its multidisciplinary nature, this study program develops the skills necessary for analyzing complex issues, and students learn to combine various specialist perspectives and discourses in evaluating specific findings and testing hypotheses, while at the same time ensuring that the methods used are appropriate, the thinking is precise, and complex or controversial problems are expressed clearly. The study program not only leads to the acquisition of expert knowledge and skills, but also develops the ability to understand views, concepts, teachings and theories that are non-traditional or differ from one’s own, cultivates argumentative approaches to critical debate, and refines the ability to evaluate oneself and to formulate one’s own opinion or position.
Description of verification and evaluation criteria
Description of the procedure and criteria for evaluation
The admissions examination is oral and takes place in one round.
Elements, content, and method of evaluation of the admissions examination:
A scholarly discussion about the outline plan of the dissertation that has been submitted, during which an evaluation is made of the factual and methodological quality of the outline plan, its innovative potential, and the ability of the applicant to present and defend their research aim. Part of the discussion takes place in a foreign language chosen by the applicant (English, German, or French). Depending on the focus of the outline plan, the applicant’s knowledge of relevant ancient and modern languages is verified (for example, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, English, German, and French). The commission awards the applicant from 0 to 60 points.
An oral examination, during which the applicant’s knowledge and orientation in the given branch of study are assessed, to the extent covered by state final examinations at a Master’s level. (The applicant submits a list of at least five titles that they have studied in the literature.) The commission awards the applicant from 0 to 40 points.
Bonus points: If the student has consulted the draft of their dissertation project with their potential supervisor, and obtained the supervisor’s recommendation for the project and their written consent to take on the supervision of the dissertation if the applicant is accepted, then the applicant receives 10 bonus points.
Minimum number of points required for acceptance: 75
The applicant is to consult their chosen theme and the choice of intended supervisor in advance with the chairperson of the relevant branch council.
Conditions for acceptance
Applicants may be accepted to study if during the entrance examination they gained at least 75 points and at the same time, based on the number of points they gained, finished in a place on the list of applicants corresponding to the number of applicants (fixed in advance) to be accepted for the branch of study in question. (See the requirements for the admissions procedure for the individual branches.) This condition is fulfilled by all those applicants who gain the same number of points as the applicant who finished in the last place on the list that qualifies for acceptance. The number of applicants to be accepted is fixed separately for full-time and part-time students.
Conditions for admission
Admission to Doctoral studies is conditioned by successful completion of a Master's study program.
Confirmation date (of entrance exam)
from: 03.06.2019 until: 21.06.2019
Alternative date (of entrance exam)
from: 24.06.2019 until: 28.06.2019
Recommended literature, sample questions
Individual, depending on the nature of the dissertation project.
Graduates have knowledge of the theoretical bases of critical thinking particularly with respect to the Christian philosophical tradition and the theological context of philosophy, are well informed about the details of the history of philosophy and philosophical study of religion, and are familiar with current trends in scholarly research. They are linguistically equipped for research work with sources. They are proficient in the methodology of specialist work and are familiar with the rules for critical analysis and interpretation. They are capable of presenting the results of their academic work in the context of a discussion among specialists. They are qualified to carry out research work independently and to be active in their field in an academic teaching capacity.