About Us

The Department of Religious Studies explores the social organization and impact of religion in ancient and modern cultures through critical theory, literary and visual studies. Our students come to understand the basics of different belief systems; the history of religion; the related philosophies; interpretations of ancient texts; the material practices involved; and how religion intersects with journalism, culture, business, and contemporary politics. This not only gives them a sense of their place as an individual in our global society, but also offers perspective to navigate any career they choose to pursue.

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The study of religion can help one understand the complex and sometimes volatile relationships between religion and politics, economics, and social structures. The study of religion is a useful complement for students primarily interested in other fields such sociology, political sciences, public policy, education, history, art history, law, cultural anthropology, or medicine.    

Our Undergraduate Program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, an Ancient Religion and Society Interdepartmental Major, and a Minor.

Graduate Students can pursue a Master of Arts in Religious Studies or Ph.D. in Religion.

Featured Courses


Investigation of two major transitions in the early Christian movement and their impact on the formulation of Christian ethics: Christianity's transition from a sect within Judaism to a Greco-Roman… read more about Ethical Issues in Early Christianity »


A study of early Christian perspectives on women and gender as expressed in the New Testament and other Jewish and early Christian writings within the context of ancient Mediterranean religions.… read more about Women, Gender, and Christian Origins »


Why is so much humor about religion? This course will explore that question in a variety of ways by considering the social and psychological dynamics of humor in relation to the ritual practices and… read more about First-Year Seminar »

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Offered Courses