Course Interdisciplinary methodologies for studying change and transformation of religion and culture


Course leader: Lene Kühle

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Arts

Course fee: 0.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Fall 2024

Application deadline: 01/07/2024

Cancellation deadline: 01/07/2024

Course type: Classroom teaching

Start date: 12/08/2024

Administrator: Marianne Hoffmeister


When registering in the application facility, you will automatically be placed on a waiting list for a seat on the course. As soon as possible after the application deadline, seats will be allocated and all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been offered a spot on the course.

Registration is binding

If you are offered a seat on the course, please note that your registration is binding. Cancellation is only accepted in special cases such as illness.

Course description

This course explores methodological advantages and disadvantages of inter-disciplinary approaches to analyzing change and transformation within religion and culture. Emphasizing a multifaceted approach, participants will be engaged in discussions on choice of methods and “discipline-specific methodology comfort zone”(Hay 2016: xi). Is this zone to be something which could be transgressed- and what may be the costs?  Moreover, the course will address the relation between research and prominent societal issues fostering critical analysis and ethical inquiry. What is the potential and risks of addressing key societal challenges? Which reflections does engagement in research in these topics foster?

PhD students will have the opportunity to not only study theoretical literature but also interact directly with scholars proficient in these methodologies. Participants will gain practical insights through hands-on demonstrations of data collection and analysis techniques. Additionally, they will engage in dialogues with senior researchers and fellow PhD candidates to explore the nuances, challenges, and ethical considerations inherent in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This course aims to empower students to consider the rigor and impact of their research within religion and culture.

This course focusses on methods to study change and transformation in religion and culture. The focus in the course will be introductions to methods like micro phenomenology and case studies and will include discussions on the use of mixed methods, how to work interdisciplinary and how to address controversial societal topics like climate change and political polarization. The course will give PhD students insights into methods and methodological choices from scholars specializing in these methods, to see examples of “hands on” collection of material, and of analysis, but also to discuss possibilities, challenges and research ethic regarding quantitative and qualitative methods with senior researchers and with other PhD students.



The aim of this course is to equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of interdisciplinary methodological challenges when analyzing change and transformation within religion and culture.

Participants will gain insights in how change and transformation.



Heimann, K., Boelsbjerg, H.B., Allen, C. et al. The lived experience of remembering a ‘good’ interview: Micro-phenomenology applied to itself. Phenom Cogn Sci 22, 217–245 (2023).


Koehrsen, Jens. 2016. Middle Class Pentecostalism in Argentina: Inappropriate Spirits. Leiden/Boston: Brill. Chapter 3: “Exploring Middle Class Pentecostalism in Argentina – Methodological Considerations”. p. 47-56.


Koehrsen, Jens, und Fabian Huber. 2021. A field perspective on sustainability transitions: The case of religious organizations. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 40:408–420. doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2021.09.005.


Hay, M. Cameron, ed. Methods that matter: Integrating mixed methods for more effective social science research. University of Chicago Press, 2016.


Target group

The course is planned as a pre-conference activity before the Nordic conference in sociology of religion, which takes place in Aarhus August 14-16. The main target group is therefore PhD students who work on religion in contemporary societies using sociological methods broadly perceived. The course will however also be relevant for PhD students who work on political polarization, climate change and cultural transformations in general. 






Lectures and group work


ECTS credits


The workload will consist in reading and submitting a small assignments on how the PhD project deals with change and transformation and how it relates to interdisciplinarity and controversial societal issues.



Jens-Ole Köhrsen

Christian Suhr

Lene Kühle



12, 13 and 14 August 2024.

Start and end time will be announced.



Aarhus University

Campus Aarhus

Building 1485, room 542

Jens Chr. Skous Vej 2

8000 Aarhus C                     


Other information

The course is open for all PhD students, and participation is free of charge.

Please note that if you have not signed up for a PhD course before via Aarhus University’s PhD Course Management platform, you will be asked to create a user account before applying for a seat on the course. You can create an account for instance at or directly via the course posting on the platform.

Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided.


Application deadline

Please apply for a seat on the course no later than 1 July 2024

Course dates:

  • 12 August 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 13 August 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 14 August 2024 08:00 - 16:00