College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Religious Studies

Department of Religious Studies

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About Us

Religious studies is a multicultural and multi-disciplinary field, drawing on such disciplines as anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology and textual studies to help us understand the character and role of religion and religions in human life. In addition students have the opportunity to explore various important religious traditions—Bible, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, for example—in greater depth.

The Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University offers students the opportunity to study religious traditions in a range of cultures and societies across time and space. Besides individual courses on both method and specific religious traditions, the department allows for more systematic study by offering both a minor and a major in religious studies. The department also offers a master’s degree for more advanced, post-B.A. students. Outstanding undergraduates may apply for the departmental honors program.

We encourage students to extend their study of religion beyond the conventional means. Where appropriate, courses are designed to utilize Internet and other technological resources, cultural institutions in University Circle, and the cultural diversity of Greater Cleveland. We also work closely with a number of the college’s interdisciplinary programs and centers, such as Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Studies and Judaic Studies.

The academic study of religion provides an excellent background for any professional career that involves interaction with diverse populations—including law, engineering, medicine and health care professions, journalism, and social work—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.