Religious studies has developed rapidly in the past decade, both as a field of research and as a separate field of study for students. A significantly expanded religious studies study path was added to the Bachelor’s programme in 2014, clearly distinguishing the study of religion from theology and making it possible for students to specialize in the study of religion at the Bachelor level as well. In addition, the Master’s programme in Religious Studies was significantly reformed in 2013 to better meet the contemporary standards of research and teaching.
Most of the research at the School is nowadays also done in the study of religion, with Ancient Near East religious traditions (Sumer and Babylonia especially) being thoroughly investigated. However, the history of Christianity in Estonia in the past few centuries has also received much attention and more recently contemporary religious trends (New Age, etc.) have become hot topics.
A lot of research activity also takes place in close cooperation with the scholars working at the Institute of Cultural Research and Arts at the University of Tartu. The Estonian Society for the Study of Religions also actively organizes conferences, seminars and other events related to the study of religion. The annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions will take place in Tartu in 2019.