Areas for state exams


Bachelor's State Final Examination

Consists of two parts:

1) defence of the bachelor thesis: consists of an introduction of the thesis, a brief presentation of the content of the reports (two expert reports are prepared in advance for each bachelor thesis, which the student receives a week in advance to allow time to prepare for the defence) and the defence itself. During the defence, the student responds to the evaluations as well as to questions from the examination committee.

2) oral examinations in theories, methods and history of religious studies and history of religion: In this part of the examination, the student presents answers to three questions drawn from a total of 40 state examination topics. After drawing them, he/she has time (15 minutes) to prepare his/her answers, after which the actual oral state examination begins, lasting about 40 minutes.

The total duration of the state final exam is about 60 minutes.

The student submits to the examination committee a list of religious studies literature read throughout the course of his/her studies (excluding the bibliography provided in the bachelor's thesis).



Theory, Methods and History of Religious Studies (20 questions)

1) religious studies as a scientific discipline; religious studies and theology; religious studies and philosophy of religion; difference between philosophical and historical study of religion; relation of religious studies to other scientific disciplines.

2) religion as an object of religious research; the concept of "religion" as an analytical category; terminology of religious studies as a discipline; basic religious concepts.

3) understanding versus explanation; main methods of religious research; individual subdisciplines of religious studies; problems of historical and comparative religious studies.

4) the meaning, task and goal of religious research; reductionism and the study of religion; neutrality in the study of religion; the position of "outsider" and "insider".

5) the difference between clarifying religion and deepening faith; the function of religious belief or disbelief in religious studies; the ethical and emic approach in religious studies.

6) emergence and establishment of world religious studies (E. Sharpe; M. Stausberg); institutionalization of religious studies in Central and Eastern Europe (T. Bubík, H. Hoffmann).

7) the origin, development and current situation of Czech religious studies (O. Pertold; J. Heller; B. Horyna).

8) evolutionary theories on the origin and development of religion (E. B. Tylor; J. G. Frazer; J. Lubbock; É. Durkheim); functionalist approaches to the study of religion (B. Malinowski, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, E. E. Evans-Pritchard);

9) diffusionism; theory of cultural cycles (F. Ratzel, L. Frobenius); historical-cultural school (W. Schmidt, W. Koppers; F. R. Graebner, P. Schebesta).

10) Religion from the perspective of psychology (W. James; E. Starbuck; J. H. Leuba); religion from the perspective of depth psychology (S. Freud; C. G. Jung); religion and mythology from the perspective of C. G. Jung and his disciples; critique of Jung's analytical psychology (E. From; V. Frankl).

11) religion as the legitimation of power (K. Marx); religion as an instrument of integration (É. Durkheim); society as the sacred (E. Durkheim); modernisation as rationalisation (M. Weber).

12) the symbolic-analytic school (C. G. Jung, K. Kerényi); the school of myth and ritual (S. H. Hooke, E. O. James).

13) the relationship between ritual and magic; the relationship between ritual and religion; the relationship between myth and ritual (W. Robertson Smith, J. G. Frazer, J. E. Harrison, S. H. Hooke and M. Eliade).

14) evolutionist interpretations of ritual (J. Frazer; E. B. Tylor; L. Lévy-Bruhl); sociological interpretations of ritual (É. Durkheim; M. Mauss); functionalist theories of ritual (A. R. Radcliffe-Brown; B. Malinowski; R. A. Rappaport).

15) myth and ritual (A. van Gennep, V. Turner, C. Bell, R. Rappaport); rites of passage (A. van Gennep; V. Turner; B. Lincoln); structural analysis of myth (C. Lévi-Strauss).

16) the development of the phenomenology of religion (N. Söderblom; G. van der Leeuw, G. Widengren; J. Waardenburg); sacrum as an object of religious studies (R. Otto); reality and the sacred (M. Eliade); difference between historical and phenomenological study of religion (Z. Werblowski).

17) religion as alienation and religion as opium (K. Marx); Marxist religious studies (D. M. Ugrinovic, Z. Poniatowski); Czech Marxist religious studies (O. Nahodil; J. Loukotka; I. Hodovský).

18) religion and cognitive science (T. Lawson; A. Geertz); basic theses of the cognitive approach to religion; brief history of cognitive religious studies; methods used in experimental research on religion (U. Schjødt).

19) theories of embodied and extended cognition; religious ideas and their transmission (P. Boyer; A. Norenzayan); cognitive and evolutionary theories of ritual (H. Whitehouse); religious behaviour and prosociality (R. Sosis).

20) the concept of religion as an anthropological category: religious facts, experiences and norms, issues of definition and classification of religion in the context of the history of "Western" culture (J. Z. Smith; T. Asad; W. C. Smith; T. Fitzgerald).


History of Religion (20 questions)

1) the origins of classical Judaism; rabbinic Judaism and its subsequent development; medieval Judaism; the Jewish Diaspora; the spread of Judaism as a non-missionary religion.

2) Judaism in the age of rationalism, enlightenment, liberalism and nationalism; contemporary Judaism in the world and its spiritual currents.

3) The Jewish Bible and other sacred texts of Judaism; the concept of religious authority and the nature of sacred space; Jewish customs and holidays; prayers and rituals; Jewish religious law; ethical norms and rules.

4) Jews, Christians and Muslims in history; Jews and Judaism in the Czech lands and Moravia; the history of anti-Semitism, the phenomenon of Zionism and the causes of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

5) Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings; the origin of Christianity and the birth of the early church; Christians in the Roman Empire; the Christian Middle Ages.

6) Reasons for the birth of the Reformation, confessionalism and Christian humanism in the 16th century; Christianity and Christian churches in the age of rationalism, Enlightenment and liberalism; contemporary forms of Christianity.

7) comparison of Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodoxy, their religious similarities and differences; forms of institutional structure of churches; Christianity and state power; situation of Christian churches in the Czech Republic.

8) sacred persons in Christianity; major Christian rituals; veneration of saints; the phenomenon of Christian pilgrimages; ethical principles of Christianity.

9) the ecumenical movement and its development; the changing attitudes of Christians towards other religions; Christians and secular society.

10) Religion and society in pre-Islamic Arabia; the origin and historical development and spread of Islam; the founder of the ummah, Muhammad; the Qur'an; the mosque.

11) The pillars of the Islamic faith; Muslim rituals and customs; Islamic legal science and theology.

12) Sunni, Shia other spiritual streams of Islam; Caliphate; nature of Islamic law; ethical principles of Islam.

13) Islam in today's world; Islam in the Czech lands and Moravia; attitudes of Islam towards other religions; Islam and secular society.

14) The Buddha and his teachings in historical perspective; the concept of dharma in Buddhism; the spiritual and practical significance of the Sangha.

15) Buddhist ceremonies, festivals, pilgrimage sites, cult objects; sacred persons.

16) Propagation of Buddhist doctrine; schools and trends in Buddhism; monks and Theravada, councils, contradictions and differentiation of the Sangha.

17) Tibetan Buddhism - history and schools; Chinese Buddhism - history and schools; Japanese Buddhism - history and schools.

18) important personalities of Buddhist thought; the situation of Buddhism in today's world; the discovery of Buddhism in the West and the construction of Buddhism; Buddhism in the Czech Republic.

19) historical development of religion in the Czech lands, Moravia and Silesia; early Christianization; ideas and personalities of the Czech Reformation; causes of recatholization and its course.

20) the religious situation in Czechoslovakia in the 20th century - in the interwar period, the communist period and after the fall of the communist regime; the current religious situation in the Czech Republic from the perspective of the last three censuses.