In the Department of Religious Studies, we prize the creation of knowledge and pursue scholarship that helps us better understand religion's impact on politics, society and our world.
We encourage and empower our students to ask questions that inspire their curiosity and use their knowledge to advance the public good. Our undergraduate and master's students undertake theses and final projects that engage religious knowledge in conversation with current events.
Our faculty engage important questions at the intersections of religion, society and politics, exploring diverse research topics that explore the intersections between political theology and liberal democracy, the relationships among depictions of God and the decline of monarchy, and the emergence of digital religious practices on social media platforms.
Student Research Opportunities in the Religious Studies Department
As a religious studies major or a student in our graduate programs, you'll work with with faculty mentors to help advance a better understanding of how religion affects politics and societies. We encourage our graduate students to design and execute their own independent research projects as they develop practical skills and engage with the broader community.
Center for Community Engagement to Advance Scholarship and Learning
The Department of Religious Studies partners with CCESL to provide learning experiences, bringing community-engaged learning, teaching and research into the religious studies program to help students explore how contemporary religious issues influence society.
Student Research Projects
Religious Studies Major Wins 'Partners in Scholarship' Award
Rebecca Kelley received $1,500 for her research project, which she says is intended "to analyze social trends of Turkish nationals within German-Turkish communities in Berlin, Germany and to investigate how nationalism is maintained within a community that is far from its formal borders."
Windows Into the Unseen: The Power of Metaphor as Revealed by Paul Ricoeur and Moses Maimonides
Claire Molk (MA '20)
Our faculty's research explores critical questions at pivotal moments in religious and political history, ranging from the 4th century C.E. to our present moment. They illuminate how communication technologies and religious texts have shaped societies, from the printing press and Buddhism in 18th century Tibet to emojis and religious apps in contemporary Muslim life. Faculty also explore ritual practice within economic, social and environmental exchange, from the current online commercial exchange of Hindu religious rituals back to the ecological relationships of rituals in ancient Mesopotamia.
Religious studies faculty members frequently publish their work in monographs, academic journals and edited collections while also sharing their knowledge with the public and their communities through news media.