School of History, Religions and Philosophies
Our degree programmes cover the histories, systems of belief and thought in Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East. We are unique in the field for approaching from the perspective of Asia and Africa, rather than through a western-centric framework, and for exploring in depth the dynamic histories of these regions, as well as their traditions, systems of belief and thought.
We offer BA, MA, and PhD history and religion degrees, with interdisciplinary modules, which encourage collaboration with other disciplines at SOAS. You will study alongside renowned academics whose research is building a new way of looking at the world, and whose interests encompass culture, religion, gender, economics, law, philosophy, politics, technology, and warfare.
Our small group teaching means that our students enjoy greater time and attention than they may find in other degree programmes. We will help you to develop the valuable critical thinking, research, and writing skills that will enable you to make a difference in the world in whatever career you choose.
Facts and figures
3rd in UK
REF 2021 for research outputs (Religions and Philosophies)
7th in UK
REF 2021 (Religions and Philosophies)
Our History department has a rich research environment and is the only UK history department devoted to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Our Religions and Philosophies programmes were in the Top 15 of REF 2021 for research impact
The Aniconic Jaina Traditions: History, Doctrine, Practice
Consolidating the source base on the Sthānakavāsī traditions in Gujarat and North India.
Jaina-Prosopography: Monastic Lineages, Networks and Patronage
Exploring the relationships between Jaina mendicant lineages and their supporters.
Literary Heritage of the Aniconic Jaina Tradition
Collect, transliterate and publishing important manuscripts pertaining to the history, doctrine and religious culture of the Lonkagaccha Jaina traditions in India.
Exploratory Survey of the Jaina Heritage in Pakistan
Enhancing understanding of the Jain heritage in Pakistan.
Johannes Klatt’s Jaina-Onomasticon
Producing a print edition of a recognised classic in the fields of Indology and the History of Religion
Jaina Rituals of Death
Towards a comprehensive monograph on new and yet unpublished findings on Jaina stūpas and practices of relic worship in contemporary Jaina culture.
Kānjī Svāmī: History, Teachings, Community
Bringing to light the nature and scope of Kānjī Svāmī’s philosophy and his legacy, in both philosophical and practical terms.
Street Philosophy Workshops
Exploring the rich and thick philosophical concepts and ideas emerging from streets in communities and cultures around the globe.
Slavery And Forced Internal Migration in Western Mali (SlaFMig)
Analysing the past and present links between forced displacement and descent-based slavery in Western Mali.
Promoting faith-sensitive, integrated and decolonial responses to domestic violence internationally.
Djonya Kélé ja Toulon: Gaming against slavery
Contributing to the fight against descent-based slavery in Mali through the creation of a video game for mobiles.
Resilience in West African frontier communities
Making local cultures visible and turning local actors from rural West African areas into producers of knowledge.