Religious Studies Program uri icon

The academic study of religion has deep roots in Western intellectual history. One cannot adequately grasp the full dynamics of world culture without attending to the role of religion. In the last hundred years scholars in the West have paid attention to non-Western religions and to the category of "religion" itself as a dimension of human experience.

Religious studies courses do not encourage or discourage belief; rather, they engage in academic study of religion as a crucial element of human culture. Religious studies employs a variety of methods including anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical, phenomenological, literary and linguistic approaches. The principal goal of religious studies is submitting sacred texts and traditions to descriptive, analytical, critical and empathetic scrutiny.