Department of Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies examines religious beliefs, institutions and practices using approaches from the humanities, arts, social sciences and sciences. The academic study of religion, combined with appropriate courses in other fields, provides an excellent background for any professional career—including law, engineering, medicine and health care professions, journalism, social work and others—and for graduate studies in a number of fields.


A major in religious studies provides a well-rounded liberal arts education or can be combined conveniently with a second major. Minors or sequences in religious studies complement and broaden any field chosen as a major.



Professor Joy Bostic Discusses Vodou Religion in the Film Sugar Hill (1974) on the Projection Booth

Date posted: July 25th, 2016

Professor Joy Bostic is a guest on “Episode 280” of the Projection Booth Podcast. Listen to her interview with Mike White as she discusses representations of race, gender and religion in the film Sugar Hill (1974) at

Phi Beta Kappa Lecture: The Black Atlantic Reads King James

Date posted: April 5th, 2016

Lecture by Dr. Vincent L. Wimbush, speaker and Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar:

The Black Atlantic Reads King James

Wednesday, April 6

Thwing Center Ballroom – Case Western Reserve University 11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

Free and open to the public, registration required

Phi Beta Kappa Welcome Reception at 11:50 am

Lecture at 12:30 pm



Dr. Justine Howe Selected as One of Ten “Young Scholars in American Religion” by the Center for Religion and American Culture at IUPUI

Date posted: February 18th, 2016

The award is open to any scholar of American religion, broadly defined, who has launched their career in the last seven years. Please refer to the Young Scholars in American Religion Program for more information regarding the program, and for the complete list of the 2016 scholars.

Read Dr. Sarma’s New Book Chapter

Date posted: January 7th, 2016

Dr. Sarma’s chapter, “Under the Gaze of Kali: Exhibitionism in the Kalighat Painting Exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art”, was recently published as part of the new book Sacred Objects in Secular Spaces: Exhibiting Asian Religions in Museums by Bruce M. Sullivan.

Dr. Deepak Sarma Guest Speaker for the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence: “Decolonizing Museums: On the Ethics of Deploying Emic and Etic Taxonomies”

Date posted: September 18th, 2015

Dr. Sarma will be the guest speaker for the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence on Friday September 25 at 12:30 PM.  The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence is located in the Tinkham Veale University Center, suite 280.  Lunch will be provided.

New Book by Professor William Deal and Co-author Brian Ruppert

Date posted: August 10th, 2015

A Cultural History of Japanese Buddhism offers a comprehensive, nuanced, and chronological account of the evolution of Buddhist religion in Japan.

Professor Haas Made Expert Panelist in Judaism and Jewish Studies for the Religion and Theology, The Research Foundation, Flanders

Date posted: August 10th, 2015

FWO is an independent agency that supports fundamental research in all disciplines in Flanders, including doctoral and post-doctoral work.

Professor Beal receives Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Date posted: July 31st, 2015

Dr. Beal is one of 36 authors to win the new NEH fellowship, which aims to promote well-researched books for general audiences. His book, Revelation: A Biography (Princeton University Press), will offer a cultural history of the New Testament book of Revelation and the apocalyptic imaginations it has fueled, exploring the many, often wildly contradictory lives of this strangely familiar, sometimes horrifying, sometimes inspiring biblical vision.

Professor Tan’s Book Named Outstanding Book in Mission Studies

Date posted: July 29th, 2015

Professor Tan’s Christian Mission Among the Peoples of Asia (Orbis, 2014) was recently named one of Fifteen Outstanding Books of 2014 for Mission Studies by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research.


Master of Arts in Religious Studies applications

Applications for the Master of Arts Program in Religious Studies are now being accepted.

Page last modified: July 25, 2016