College of Letters & Science

New! Spring and Summer 2019 course info now available
RS does not currently have a Program Administrator to answer the RS email or phone. Students, faculty, and staff with questions about RS courses or the program are welcome to contact Dr. Corrie Norman via email. At this time, we are unable to post announcements for events. We are unable to process senior auditor requests.

2018 Religious Studies Graduates
2018 Religious Studies Graduates

What is Religious Studies?

"Religious studies engages a variety of academic and professional disciplines, providing important preparation for thinking, communicating and functioning professionally in a complex, multi-dimensional world."

Religious studies is an academic discipline that looks at religious phenomena worldwide from a variety of angles in order to understand the many roles that religion plays in human life. To this end, students of religion learn to use a variety of theoretical analyses and methods. These include historical methods to understand how religions develop in time; critical literary methods to understand religious ideas; aesthetic methods to understand religious art and material culture; social-scientific methods to understand the relationship between religion, society and culture. Religious studies can also engage a variety of professional disciplines in analysis of how religion functions in economic, educational or political contexts, healthcare and scientific research, to name some examples.

Some ways of studying religion emphasize understanding religions on their own terms, other ways use comparative methods to discern differences and similarities between religions. Students of religion also study ways that people use religious resources to make meaning outside the boundaries of religious institutions and identities. Above all, the field of religious studies requires a willingness to explore different ways of interpreting human life and diligent effort to develop understanding of how religious ideas, symbols, rituals and spaces serve as resources for people in a variety of contexts as they make sense of and live out their lives in the world. Thus, religious studies engages a variety of academic and professional disciplines, providing important preparation for thinking, communicating and functioning professionally in a complex, multi-dimensional world.

Events

Forging Interdisciplinary Research in Religious Studies and Mass Communication

Event Date
Location
5013 Vilas Hall

This session of the ACLS/Luce Center-funded project “Interactive Skill Building to Improve Religious and International Affairs Coverage in Local Journalism” will focus on searching for research topics, questions, potential hypotheses and potential modes of analysis to conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research about religious studies and mass communication.

Religious Freedom & Minorities: The Consequences of Media Focus

Event Date
Location
5013 Vilas Hall

This talk is intended to open discussion on the issue of media representations of religious minorities in journalism. It draws upon the contrastive examples of representations of Muslims in Vietnamese and English language media. The natural purpose of this contrast is to compare the presentations of a journalistic setting where there is a very high degree of freedom of expression and a journalistic setting where there is, by all agreed upon accounts, a very low degree of freedom of expression.

Why Should a Journalist Call a Religious Studies Scholar?

Event Date
Location
Nafziger Room, Vilas Hall

Religious Studies Program Director Jordan Rosenblum will be giving a talk entitled "Why Should a Journalist Call a Religious Studies Scholar?” on Friday, October 13. This talk is a part of a series of events made possible by a grant received by Professor Susan Ridgely of the Religious Studies Program and Professor Mike Wagner of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC). The award is from the American Council of Learned Societies. The grant’s focus is on improving and strengthening the connection between religion, journalism, and international affairs.