The Department of Religious Studies explores religious practice as an important aspect of social life in three ways. First, students study the theories and methods through which religion is analyzed today, including psychological, sociological, anthropological, philosophical, historical, legal, and literary approaches. They also approach the study of “religion” as a concept, which has itself been an intellectual object of inquiry and has played a key role in the development of the social and human sciences. Second, students learn empirically about religion in different times and places, either through historical or ethnographic study, using textual, visual, and audio sources. Third, students use religions, approached as lived practices, as a lens for examining other realms in social life, such as gender and sexuality, race, the nation-state, violence, memory, ethics, emotions, politics, economy, power, art, literature, and media. These realms, in turn, have an impact on religions. The Department of Religious Studies is closely affiliated with the Center for Religion and Media. It should be stressed that the department is oriented toward the academic analysis of religious phenomena and does not promote or endorse either religious belief itself or the views and practices of any particular religious tradition.
To request declaration of a minor, CAS students should visit the host department. To request declaration of a cross-school minor, CAS students should complete the online Minor Application available in their Albert Student Center. Students may also use the Minor Application in Albert to request cancellation of a CAS or cross-school minor.