Department of Religious Studies

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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.



“Changing the Narrative About Islam and Muslims”

Date posted: February 1st, 2017

Power of Diversity Lecture Series
Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity invites you to attend
Changing the Narrative About Islam and Muslims”
a lecture by Ramez Islambouli

Head of Arabic Language,CWRU Dept. …Read more.

This Tuesday, 11/15: Discussion of “Trump and Trauma” with Roxanne Gay

Date posted: November 12th, 2016

TRUMP AND TRAUMA: Feminism, Vulnerable Lives and Public Power
A Student Class Discussion with Professor Roxanne Gay
When: Tuesday, November 15 at 4:30 pm
Where: Gaming Room in the Tinkham Veale University Center
RSVP to Professor Joy Bostic (

Haitian-American author Roxane Gay’s writing focuses on feminist issues, gender, and racial equality. …Read more.

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.


Master of Arts in Religious Studies applications

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

Page last modified: February 8, 2017