Fields of Study
The Department of Religious Studies focuses on fields that fall under such established rubrics as history of religion, philosophy of religion, anthropology of religion, Buddhist studies, Christian studies, and Jewish studies.
At the same time, most department members explore topics from thematic perspectives that cut across cultural, national, and geographic lines and deal with conceptual issues and methodologies that go beyond the specific concerns of their specialty, fall outside traditional categorizations, and reflect new directions in the academic study of religion. Members of the faculty are engaged in the comparative study of religions of East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America; popular religion and ritual; intellectual and social history; and religion and politics, ethnicity, gender, material culture, and the arts.
The graduate program strives to create an environment that cultivates first-rate scholarly research while producing scholars and teachers who can think and communicate beyond their areas of specialization. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to design innovative, interdisciplinary courses of study that address specific intellectual needs and career goals and make maximum use of University resources. Students nevertheless are expected to demonstrate mastery in one of the areas of specialization and identify with one of the thematic subfields offered by the department.
We re no longer accepting students into our graduate program.