About Religious Studies

We are a vibrant community of scholars and students exploring the deepest questions about human life through the lens of religion. One of the first religious studies programs in the country, we continue to be an interdisciplinary center for the study of religion in the twenty-first century. Religious studies as a discipline brings together researchers from fields as diverse as anthropology, literary studies, history, political science, and archaeology. Our program gives students an opportunity to learn about the wide variety of religions as well as to study past and current events with a critical but open mind.

What do our majors and minors study?

Undergraduate students can study a wide range topics through Religious Studies. Students explore religious movements and traditions in all their interdisciplinary complexity--often comparatively, sometimes thematically, and almost always in specific historical and cultural contexts. The curriculum covers subjects as diverse as U.S. politics, the Middle East, atheism, the FBI, health, eastern philosophies, and more. The diversity of topics that can be studied through Religious Studies is among the most diverse on campus.

Whether you are interested in a specific religion like Islam, an aspect of religion like ritual, or want to understand how religion has shaped past and current events, religious studies is for you.

Why Study Religion?

Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, or whether you think religion has played a positive or negative role in history, it is an incontrovertible fact that from the beginning of time, humans have engaged in activities that we now call religion, such as worship, prayer, and rituals marking important life passages.

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What can you study in Religious Studies?

How Muslims, Like the Rest of Us, Adapt to New Worlds

Watch Prof. John Bowen talk about how fear of races, religions and other differences fosters divisiveness, and the role a university can play in bridging the divides. Presented at the faculty symposium for the inauguration of Andrew D. Martin.

The Self, Virtue, & Public Life Research Initiative

In Obergell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry. In response, some opponents of the ruling argued that the growing acceptance of LGBT individuals would impede the ability of Christians to practice their faith — as if gains for one group necessarily involved losses for the other. A new study led by Prof.  Clara Wilkins  and Prof. Lerone A. Martin aims to explore the root causes of such zero-sum thinking.

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Former US Secretary of State John Kerry Meets With Religious Leaders in Sokoto Nigeria

I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions rather than political science. That is because religious actors and institutions are playing an influential role in every region of the world and on nearly every issue central to U.S. foreign policy.

―John KerryFormer US Secretary of State

From Coffee Hours to Study Breaks and Trivia Night, we invite you to get to know the community of students and scholars working on religion.

A Vibrant Community

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