Welcome to the Religion Department

  • Leighton Hall

    Our Home in Leighton Hall

    We are located on the third floor - stop in and visit!
  • Hawaiian Hālau

    Hālau Kiawekupono O Ka Ua

    The Hālau will give a master dance class and informal performance in October.
  • Religion seniors S2014

    Religion Seniors Spring 2014

    Pictured at the Religion Department Picnic are 9 of the 15 seniors (L-R): Sara Klugman, Guthrie Cunningham, Isaama Stoll, Matthew Fitzgerald, Marcus Rider, Jillian Mattern, Kassie Maxeiner, Meg Holladay, and Kayla Jackson.
  • Fire Festival - close up image

    Fire Festival (himatsuri) in Nachi, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

    RELG 152: Religion in Japanese Culture
  • Pilgrims at Mt. Osore ("Mount Fear")

    Pilgrims at Mt. Osore ("Mount Fear")

    in Aoyama Prefecture, Japan. Mt. Osore is believed to mark the entrance to hell. Their pilgrimage is to commemorate and communicate with the dead.

The study of religion, in the context of a liberal arts education, draws upon multiple disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences.

We examine the existential, intellectual, and social problems to which religions respond, and probe the dynamic and often ambiguous relationship between religious beliefs and practices and the social order in which they are embedded.  Throughout the curriculum, religion is approached as a significant and pervasive expression of human culture, both past and present.

Despite predictions of its demise, religion remains a vital component of most human cultures in the world of the twenty-first century.  Understanding of religious texts, persons, and practices is indispensable for appreciating not just the human quest for meaning in life, but the ways in which current social and political movements and institutions have developed and new ones continue to appear.

Through our program of study, we seek to provide students with imaginative, analytical, written, oral, and social skills that will permit them not only to gain the ability to understand human religiousness, but also to become productive members of any community.  Our major gives our students many opportunities to gain the understandings and practice the skills we recognize as central to a liberal arts education.

Students who major in religion are well equipped for many careers.  Their skills in critical thinking, clear writing, close reading and insightful understanding of religion's place in societies and social movements around the world enable them to pursue careers in:

  • law
  • non-profit organizations
    • environmental sustainability
    • homelessness
    • after-school tutoring
    • public health education
    • policy reform
    • and advocacy
  • health care
  • education
  • social services, and
  • religious leadership