“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. ... Leaders in public life need to recognize that in a world where people of all religious traditions are migrating and mingling like never before, we ignore the global impact of religion at our peril.” –John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, 9/14/15
The Department of Religious Studies offers multiple courses in all the major religious traditions of the world: eastern and western, ancient as well as modern. Students are exposed to all major theories and methods current in the academic study of religion. They are well-prepared to gain admission and succeed in the top religious studies graduate programs in the country and in a wide variety of careers.
Our students learn to think and write critically and to analyze an issue from multiple perspectives. Through the examination and interpretation of religious practices and teachings, our courses explore the deep and diverse ways in which religious ideas have shaped - and continue to shape - the cultural, political, ethical, spiritual, and social lives of individuals and communities. Our program helps students cultivate open-mindedness, rigor, and the ability to think deeply and carefully about complexity, diversity, and ambiguity. These skills are universally helpful in a dynamic and changing world.