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 established 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 while studying past and current events with a critical, but open, mind.

What do our majors and minors study?

Undergraduate students 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 diverse subjects including 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 religious or irreligious, whether you consider religion to have played a positive or negative role throughout history, it is an incontrovertible fact that humans have engaged in worship, prayer, and ritualistic activities, that we now call religion, since the beginning of time.

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What can you study in Religious Studies?

“Peter’s Letter to Philip: Textual Fluidity in a New Testament Apocryphon."

Director of Religious Studies and Senior Lecturer Lance Jenott had his book chapter “Peter’s Letter to Philip: Textual Fluidity in a New Testament Apocryphon” published in The Nag Hammadi Codices as Monastic Books. 

According to the introduction of the book, the Nag Hammadi Codices are some of the "most enigmatic manuscripts from Late Antiquity" and their authorship and purpose "remain elusive" although the text have been studied extensively. 

An open-access link to the eBook can be found here.

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.

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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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