instellingRijksuniversiteit Groningen
faculteitFaculty of Theology and Religious Studies
diplomaTheologie & Religiewetenschappen
type opleidingregulier onderwijs
opleidingsduur12 maanden
# credits60 EC
numerus fixusgeen

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.

Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism voltijd

Are you interested in the history of 'alternative Christianities'? Ever wondered how occultism and magic shaped modern science and psychology? Or whether New Age is indeed new?

Knowledge of the mystical and esoteric currents in the history of religion in Europe, as well as the impact of Hermetic and Gnostic spirituality, is important for a better understanding of European religious and cultural identities.

This Master's degree programme is unique due to its multidisciplinary nature. It combines philological, religious-comparative and cultural-historical approaches. In addition, we offer the first diachronic overview of esotericism from the very beginnings of our Western Culture in ancient Greece to its latest manifestations in modern multicultural society.

After a solid introduction to ancient philosophical esotericism, and to Hermetic and Gnostic lore, you will:
  • learn about mystical traditions and the influence of Kabbalistic esotericism in Western culture from Late Antiquity down to the present day
  • be able to analyse and understand ancient and modern esoteric discourses
  • study the processes of exchange between East and West that have shaped contemporary religious landscapes
  • uncover underlying connections between ancient and modern religiosity and ponder the persistence or rebirth of religious conceptions and rituals.


no known events

studenten en docenten aan het woord

Tancredi Marrone (Italy) over Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

I chose to study Concealed Knowledge in Groningen as the programme offers course units in esoteric traditions from classical antiquity to contemporary times. I also discovered that the University of Groningen's Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies is very well thought off. I wanted to take a Research Master's in order to broaden my knowledge of research methodologies in religious studies.

> lees het hele verhaal van Tancredi Marrone (Italy)
Associate Professor Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta over Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

As a specialist in ancient philosophy and in alternative Christianities I am in charge of the first course in this master: Knowledge, Secrecy and Revelation in Antiquity. I provide the first approach to ancient esoteric discourses in order to show students how humans tend to cherish knowledge as a scarce commodity that is, consequently, produced and transmitted with extreme care and protection.

> lees het hele verhaal van Associate Professor Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta
Bart Jongsma over Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

'For me, Concealed Knowledge wasn't always the obvious choice. My interests have always been very eclectic, which was what originally drew me towards Religious Studies. When the time came to specialize, however, this eclecticism became somewhat problematic. My solution was to combine hobby with study. In my case the hobby was medieval European martial arts.

> lees het hele verhaal van Bart Jongsma

Studenten & Studentenleven

living in Groningen

53637no. students
30472no. resident student   
€ 335avg. room price
room affordability
18 m2avg. room size
room availability

bron: NSE 2014

number of students

36 studenten volgen deze opleiding
72% daarvan is vrouw
4 eerstejaars gestart in 2013
75% daarvan is vrouw
27169 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
52% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData

living in Groningen

53637no. students
30472no. resident student   
€ 335avg. room price
room affordability
18 m2avg. room size
room availability

bron: NSE 2014

study association Gerardus van der Leeuw

The Faculty Association of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (GGW) of the University. The association Gerardus van der Leeuw was founded in April 2003 and is named after the Groninger theologian.



taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet70% zelfstudie
20% theorie
10% praktijk
onderwijsvormenliterature study, oral presentation, internship, research, tutorial, lecture, group discussion, individual assignment, self study, seminar
# contacturen6 uur per week


study guidance

Master's students are expected to show a large degree of independence. If necessary you can make use of various forms of study supervision and study support. For example, you can contact a mentor or your study advisor. While writing your thesis, you will receive personal supervision from one of the lecturers.

Immediately after arrival, students who gained their Bachelor's degree at a different faculty or university as well as international students will be allocated a mentor who will help them get to know the Faculty. You can also go to the study advisor if you have doubts about your abilities or for whatever reason run the risk of study delay. You will receive intensive supervision while writing your thesis. The Master's programme includes a thesis seminar, where attention is paid to how to tackle writing a Master's thesis, and where the progress of the process is monitored closely. You will also receive structural supervision from the lecturer who is the specialist in the field of your thesis.


For information about the courses see:

study abroad

The master programme Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism has various exchange possibilities for students with other universities within the European Union, but also at non-European university to take part of the study programme at the university abroad.
Another option is to take an internship or to do part of the research work abroad. More information at the webpage:
max. 30 ECbron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Een Honours Programme is een aanvullend programma voor gemotiveerde en talentvolle studenten.

Er wordt extra inzet van de student verwacht bovenop de reguliere studielast. Studenten worden voor het programma geselecteerd op basis van behaalde studieresultaten en motivatie.

Master's Honours Programme:

Honours programme of the University (15 EC).

For students who have a Bachelor Honours degree, who have attended a University College or were actively involved in (student)organizations beside the regular master programme.
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

courses roster

Knowledge, secrecy and Revelation in Antiquity
Medieval Mysticism, Kabbalah and Contemporary Culture
Master Thesis
Methodology clinics
Modern Esotericism between East and West
The MA programme in Concealed Knowledge consists of three thematic course units (30 ECTS) and a thesis (20 ECTS). 10 ECTS are reserved for a practical placement.
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

exchange programmes

DenemarkenAarhus Universiteit
DuitslandUniversität Bremen
DuitslandRuhr Universität Bremen
DuitslandUniversität Erfurt
DuitslandPhilipps-Universität Marburg
DuitslandUniversität Münster
NoorwegenUniversity of Oslo
TurkijeITU Istanbul
USAPrinceton Theological Seminary
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


eu, Coïmbra Group (eu) onderzoek - Dit is een netwerk van verscheidene Europese universiteiten die nauw samenwerken op onderzoeksterreinen Ook uitwisseling van onderzoekers en staf behoort tot de mogelijkheden.
eu, U4 onderzoek - U4 is a collaboration of 4 universities. These are Göttingen, Gent, Uppsala and Groningen. Collaboration consists both the area of education and research.
us, University of Princeton onderzoek - Princeton Theological Seminary Onderzoekssamenwerking waarbij PhD-studenten en onderzoekers/ stafleden over en weer onderzoek uitvoeren.
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

  • Samenwerking op gebied van onderzoek geeft een indicatie van de mogelijkheden om af te studeren en eventueel te gaan promoveren.
  • Samenwerking met commerciële bedrijven betekent vaak dat gastdocenten verhalen uit de praktijk komen vertellen.
  • Internationale samenwerkingsverbanden vergroten de kans dat je eventueel naar het buitenland kan voor je studie

Admission and costs

Program start and application deadlines

1 februari 2016deadline aanmelding : 1 november 2015 (EU)
1 september 2016deadline aanmelding : 1 mei 2016 (EU)

application requirements

cijferlijstA grade list of the marks of your bachelor's degree programme with an explanation of the followed courses.
taaltoetsA (English) language test is only important if you do not have a VWO-diploma. Minimum requirements: TOEFL 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet or IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 on each part)
vooropleidingBachelor degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Arts, Philosophy or Social Science (e.g. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology). Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.

Students with another bachelor degree may be admitted via a bridging programme.
motivatiebriefA letter of motivation to the admissions committee explaining the choice for this study program (max. 1 page) is required, just as an overview of the results of your bachelor program, a Curriculum Vitae and a writing sample of an academic paper are part of the admission procedure.


Dutch students send all the documentation by mail to, even if a direct access is applicable.

bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

welk collegegeldtarief moet ik betalen?

Meestal betaal je het "wettelijk tarief".
Vereenvoudigd geldt:

  • wettelijk tarief is het reguliere tarief voor studenten van binnen de EU/EER.
  • instellingstarief is voor studenten die al in het bezit zijn van een bachelor- of masterdiploma en een tweede studie willen beginnen waarmee ze dezelfde of een lagere graad behalen. Het instellingstarief geldt niet voor studenten die zich voor de eerste keer inschrijven voor een opleiding in de gezondheidszorg of het onderwijs.
  • niet-EU/EER tarief is voor studenten van buiten de EU/EER.

Ten slotte:
Het collegegeld is sterk afhankelijk van je studie-geschiedenis en studiekeuze. Controleer het dus altijd in de collegegeld-wizard van de instelling!

tuition fees

2015/16voltijd   wettelijk tarief € 1951
voltijd   instellingstarief € 1951
voltijd   niet-EU/EER studenten € 11000
2016/17voltijd   wettelijk tarief € 1984
voltijd   instellingstarief € 1984
voltijd   niet-EU/EER studenten € 11200

tuition fee

If you gained your master's degree after 1 September 1991 you have to pay the University tuition fee II. This is a higher tuition fee than the statutory tuition fee.
bron: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft.Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

estimated monthly costs

335kamerhuurincl. servicekosten (kamerprijzen in Groningen zijn gemiddeld binnen Nederland)
158collegegeldop basis van € 1906 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1308 aan totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1264

bron: Nibud (2013), Nationale Studenten Enquete (2013), opleiding (2014)


unique characteristics

  • New vistas to understand complexities of European religion and culture
  • Function of esotericism, mysticism and gnosticism in the entangled histories of religion, philosophy and science are explored in an interdisciplinary way
  • Taught by leading experts with a world-class reputation
  • A highly stimulating learning environment
  • You can follow your own research interests

Facts and opinions

NVAO geaccrediteerd

De kwaliteit van deze opleiding wordt getoets door: NVAO (nl)

This program has been accredited on 20 by the Dutch-Flamish Accreditation Organization (NVAO) and has received the following grades:

bron: NVAO

> Vergelijk Theologie & Religiewetenschappen opleidingen

Advancement options

job perspective

As a graduate, you are specialized in the history and current manifestations of rather unknown religious traditions. This makes you one of the few experts in the field. Your profile will suit a number of different positions ranging from cultural management to legal advice. It also enables you to contribute to articles and television programmes. You will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to teach Religious Studies, Philosophy or Social Studies. You could also opt for a career in research.

a few possible professions after obtaining a master-degree:

  • consulting & policy
    You are specialized in the history and current manifestations of relatively unknown religious traditions. This makes you one of the few experts in this field. Your profile will suit a number of different positions ranging from cultural management to legal advice.

  • media & journalism
    Throughout the West, mystical traditions are being rediscovered, not just as the subject of study but also as a source through which people can find meaning in life. Publishers and broadcasting companies are responding to this new interest. With your academic background you can make an expert contribution to articles, books and television programmes in this area.

  • education
    Once you have completed this Master's programme, you will have sufficient knowledge of the subject to teach Religious Studies and Philosophy or Social Studies in secondary education. Alternatively, you could opt for a position in higher vocational education. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

bron: StudieData
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