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.

Applications now being accepted for Inaugural Mandel Fellowships

The college is looking for up to eight first-year students to become inaugural recipients of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation’s Fellowship in the new Experimental Humanities program at Case Western Reserve!

This is a bold initiative to integrate the liberal arts and STEM in order to address the rapidly evolving technological landscape and today’s most pressing societal issues.

Students in this exciting program will blend humanities-oriented critical reflection with hands-on experimenting and skills development in new technologies, enabling them to ask deep questions about the ethical, philosophical and socio-cultural implications of scientific and technological change.

We encourage first-year (2023-24) students who have a passionate interest in this area of study to apply for the Mandel Fellowship by no later than Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, for a chance to be part of the inaugural class, which begins with the 2024 spring semester.

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 18-21, 2023 in San Antonio Texas

Faculty members in the Department of Religious Studies will be presenting and participating in panel discussions on a wide range of interdisciplinary topics at the 2023 American Academy of Religion annual meeting.

Click here to learn more about the topics and panels covered

“Is there an ordinary state of consciousness?” Deepak Sarma Lecture & Reception

Why do we contrast ordinary states of consciousness with non-ordinary ones? Why do we presume that there are any ordinary or normal states of consciousness? The current curiosity about altered states of consciousness and the therapeutic value of so-called psychedelic substances begs the question of what is considered to be “normal.”

Attendees can expect to question their basic beliefs, and to leave transformed and transfigured.

Click Here to Register

Dr. Brian Clites, Curran Center Award Winner, Explores Healing Power of Voice

There is healing power in using your voice.

That was one of the lessons of “A Theology of Voice: VOCAL and the Catholic Clergy Abuse Survivor Movement,” an article by Brian Clites, Ph.D., chosen by Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies in May as the winner of its third annual New Scholars essay contest.

The article traces the origins of VOCAL (Victims of Clergy Abuse Linkup), which was among the first and most prominent advocacy organizations for American survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse. It was a predecessor of the currently active SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), and was notable, Clites said, because its leaders explicitly recognized the spiritual dimensions of the abuse they suffered, which they called “soul murder.”


Master of Arts in Religious Studies applications

Applications for the Master of Arts Program in Religious Studies are due January 15th, 2024.