RVI2125 - New Religious Movements. New religions, conspiracy theories and extremism.


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The course will provide an introduction to contemporary religion with an emphasis on modern religious movements in Europe and North America. The student will learn about the contemporary and historical background of modern religious movements, and learn how various sections of society react to them. The interplay between society and religion is emphasized. The course will consider various topics of contemporary religion, such as:

  • The sociology of modern religions,
  • Essential doctrines of New Age religions,
  • Modern apocalyptic movements,
  • UFO-religions,
  • Neo-paganism,
  • Anti-cult movements,
  • Theories of secularization and modernity.

The course will also provide further study of the methodological and theoretical issues related to the study of religion, as well as deeper study of selected topics in the history of the disciplin. The course will thereby provide a further understanding of various approaches, how theories are formed, and related issues.

Learning outcome

According to the course curriculum, a candidate who passes this course is expected to have the following learning outcome (defined as knowledge and skills)


The candidate has attained

  • knowledge of the background and expressions of new religious movements and the cultic milieu of contemporary Western societies, with an emphasis on new religious movements in Europe and North America
  • knowledge of methods used in the study of this new religious landscape, as well as theories developed to understand and explain it
  • knowledge of research on both organized and unorganized new religious expressions


The candidate has acquired skills to

  • exert good scientific practice regarding sources and references
  • apply research on contemporary religion to research questions and make well-founded decisions
  • account for, compare, analyse and discuss sources and research

Learning methods and activities

Instruction consists of lectures and seminars.

In order to sit the exam students must get the obligatory activity approved. For more information on the obligatory activity, see Blackboard. The obligatory activity can only be approved in the semester when the course is taught, but is valid in this and the subsequent term.

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved obligatory activity

Further on evaluation

The exam consists of a written assignment (6000-8000 words).

Required previous knowledge


Course materials

The required reading list will be available at the beginning of the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
RVI2120 7.5 AUTUMN 2007
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Comparative Religion
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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