Hello! My name is Lazarus Lee, I finished my BA in Chinese Language & Literature at Fudan University, Shanghai, and now I am studying the research master of Religious Studies at the UvA. I was first attracted to this program by the fame of lecturers like Wouter Hanegraaff and Marco Pasi, who are top-ranking scholars focusing on western esotericism and hermetic traditions. Wouter’s elegant pamphlet Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed is the first academic work on this topic translated into Chinese, which illuminated me that there are many explorers doing ground-breaking work in this hic sunt dracones land, so I decided to go to the Netherlands and learn from them.
A research master student of Religious Studies at the UvA needs to take 120 EC to finish the program (90 EC for core courses, electives, and tutorials, 12 EC for the master’s research project, 18 EC for the thesis), and one can select the electives (Islam in the Modern World, Religious Diversity in Europe, Western Esotericism) by one’s own academic interests. This is my first semester in Amsterdam, and I have chosen one core course (Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion) and two electives (Spirituality and Religion, Western Esotericism and Spirituality) on my schedule, which are not only enlightening but also academically profitable. So, for anyone interested in stuff like esotericism, hermeticism, Gnosticism, and other occult things, to study these “rejected knowledges” by taking a MA or RMA program at the UvA is probably the best choice. Join the club and explore the alternative world of religions and spiritualities with us!