Department of Religious Studies

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Message from the Chair

The study of religion was part of this university when it was founded as the Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio, in 1826. The idea was that any educated person of the day needed to understand religion. To be sure, the study of religion has since undergone massive changes, but the importance of religion, and so the academic study of it, has hardly diminished.

Today, maybe more than ever, the study of religion as a human phenomenon, as well as the study of individual religious traditions, has become an important part of global education. Understanding how religion, and different religions, impact human lives and welfare is important in law, in health care delivery, in social work and in deepening the understanding of almost every major in the humanities and social sciences.

The Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University is a vibrant and growing department that offers students courses, as well as a minor and a major, in all aspects of the academic study of religion. We offer courses not only in different approaches to religion—anthropology, cognitive science, gender studies, history, philosophy, sociology and so on—but also in depth of various religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

We invite you to sample our courses and discover the world of religion and how it impacts all our lives in multiple ways.

Timothy Beal
Chair and Florence Harkness Professor of Religion

Page last modified: June 29, 2017