Master's in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and Archaeology relating to Pre-Islamic Palestine/Israel (minor only)

Are you interested in the foundations of our culture? Are you fascinated by the connections between the Near East and the West? Do you like languages and images? Are you interested in expanding your horizons in an interdisciplinary manner? Do you like subjects that involve a lot of facts? Do you find the idea of studying at four institutes in Fribourg and Bern interesting, even exciting?

Palestine/Israel lies at the crossroads of three continents. It is at the center of an ancient trade axis between Egypt-Mesopotamia and the Arabian-Mediterranean coast that is thousands of years old. This tiny strip of land, which lies in the midst of four climatic zones and the cultures that populate them, has remained a bone of contention between major powers down to this very day. It has also been the source of important developments in human civilization, culture and religion that have had a decisive impact on Europe and modern society as well.

The Master program in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures Relating to Pre-Islamic Palestine/Israel addresses these essential roots of our culture (regardless of their associated religious orientation). It also allows students to benefit from the in-depth knowledge that can be gained with the help of modern scientific disciplines, in particular archeology, epigraphy, iconography and the science of religion.

Basic information
Degree: -
Degree programs: Minor 30 ECTS credits
Combination possibilities: See master's major
Duration:
The period of study is in line with the standard duration of study for the master's major
Language: German
Beginning of studies: Fall or spring semester

Palestine/Israel lies at the crossroads of three continents. It is at the center of an ancient trade axis between Egypt-Mesopotamia and the Arabian-Mediterranean coast that is thousands of years old. This tiny strip of land, which lies in the midst of four climatic zones and the cultures that populate them, has remained a bone of contention between major powers down to this very day. It has also been the source of important developments in human civilization, culture and religion that have had a decisive impact on Europe and modern society as well.

The program in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures Relating to Pre-Islamic Palestine/Israel addresses these essential roots of our culture (regardless of their associated religious orientation). It also allows students to benefit from the in-depth knowledge that can be gained with the help of modern scientific disciplines, in particular archeology, epigraphy, iconography and the science of religion.

The program is based on the BEFRI Convention between the Institute of Biblical Studies in the Faculty of Theology and the Institute of Archaeological Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Bern, and the Department of Biblical Studies and the Institute of Biblical Languages and Middle Eastern Christian Societies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Fribourg.

The program is offered as a Bachelor minor (15, 30 or 60 ECTS credits) and as a Master minor with 30 ECTS credits and is open to students from all faculties. However, it is particularly designed for students of ancient and early modern and modern history, Near Eastern archeology and philology, the science of religion, and theology.

  • Archeology in Palestine/Israel and the Greater Syria region (pre-Hellenistic, Greco-Roman and Byzantine eras)
  • Iconography and religious history of Palestine/Israel and the pre-Islamic Orient
  • Languages, inscriptions and literature of the pre-Islamic Near East and Egypt and the textual tradition of the Hebrew Bible
  • History and historical geography of Palestine/Israel and the Greater Syrian region in the pre-Islamic era, including economic and social history.

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the study program in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures relating to Pre-Islamic Palestine/Israel (minor):

a) Bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree (at least 30 ECTS credits) from a recognized university with a major in one of the following disciplines: 
  • Theology
  • Biblical Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Science of Religion
  • Archeology
  • in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
  • Egyptology
  • related subjects
  • Near Eastern cultures and archeology relating to Pre-Islamic Palestine/Israel
and proof of solid language proficiency in at least one language from pre-Islamic Israel/Palestine. *
b) Bachelor's degree in a related branch of studies will be individually assessed to ensure that it is equivalent to the University of Bern bachelor's degree. *
* Additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits may be required. These can either be admission requirements which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program or admission requirements which must be fulfilled before admission to the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

The bachelor's degree may not be more than 15 years old. Exceptions are possible where justified.

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Doctoral studies

The Faculty of Theology offers students the possibility to contribute to further research in their field with a dissertation.

Career possibilities

Like any course of study in the humanities, the program offered here does not prepare students for a specific career but instead teaches them methods and skills that can be applied in a variety of fields (e.g. research, media, education, diplomacy, culture, dialog between religions).

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