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Oxford MSt or Cambridge MPhil


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I'm considering either of the two programs (Cambridge MPhil Theology and Religion/Oxford MSt Study of Religion) with a research focus on the intersection of theology and religious studies which involves bringing together the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of the social sciences and their relationship with contemporary theology, in the past and the future. The work is meant to be across disciplinary and faith-tradition boundaries. Leaving aside these specifics, and the funding issue, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on either or both of these programs and universities, the course structure, the teaching and research environment, supervision, etc. Anything relevant for an international graduate student.

Edited by staplerinjello
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I am currently an M.St. student at Oxford in the Study of Religion. The way that the course is set up, you are required to take two terms of general theory (Durkheim, Weber, Eliade, etc.) in addition to covering two religious traditions over two terms. Last term I was studying Indian history and Hinduism in colonial India with Professor Gavin Flood. This term I am looking at both general Christian theology and Christianity in India with Professor Nicholas Wood. Personally, I think the structure of the degree is excellent. As an international student from Los Angeles, this is my second MA degree in Religion. I must say that though it is very fast-paced (only 9 months), I have sincerely enjoyed my time here. Oxford offers you a wide array of optional supplemental lectures and seminars that can greatly enhance the study of your particular interests. Moreover, the tutorial system allows you to sit one-on-one with some of the most renowned scholars in Theology and Religion in the world. If you are okay with the degree being self-funded (funding at Oxford is very scarce), then I would definitely recommend it. 


As a small aside, and this shouldn't weigh to heavily on your decision to apply, the weather here is atrocious. Coming from Los Angeles, I actually had to second-guess whether I could put up with this weather if I were to do a PhD here. The academic atmosphere, however, does minimize this to some degree. Also, note that admission to the M.St. has become very competitive. My current cohort has three individuals that already have an MA (me included) and two that came from top universities. Do let me know if you have any questions. I would also get in contact with Professor Sondra Hausner as she oversees the course.

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