The Department of Religious Studies offers the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree with a major or minor in Religious Studies, and the graduate Masters of Arts degree in Religious Studies.
Our faculty members have won prestigious awards for their excellence in teaching and advising. They are nationally and internationally recognized scholars in the academic study of religion. We have particular strengths in the following areas:
- American Religious History
- Native American Religions
- Biblical studies
- History of Christianity
- Religions of East Asia
- Religions of South Asia
- Religions of Indigenous peoples
The Department is particularly interested in the intersections of religion with neuroscience, popular culture, gender, class, and society. Our methods and approaches are multidisciplinary, combining textual, historical, sociological, anthropological, psychological, comparative, and cultural studies perspectives.
Feb. 3, 2014
Andy McKee (MA 2013) has a post on the influential Religion in American History blog, titled "Painting, Working, and Haunting in the Steel City," discussing his the MA thesis he wrote at MU. More information here.
Feb. 3, 2014
Professor Rabia Gregory has recently created the "Academic Kindness Tumblr" to spotlight acts of kindness in academia (which often go unnoticed). Her project was the subject of a story in Inside Higher Ed. More information here.
Nov. 18, 2013
This coming weekend (Nov. 23-26) will be the occasion for the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) in Baltimore, Maryland. All of our faculty are involved in the AAR/SBL, and several will be participating in the conference:
Professor Signe Cohen will be part of a panel “On Preparing MA Students for Doctoral Programs” (Stand-alone MA Programs in Religion Seminar, A23-137)
Professor Dennis Kelley will be presenting a paper titled “’Coyote could be Very Foolish or Very Wise…’: Sacred Humor in Indian Country as a Window Into the Spirituality of the ‘Nones’” in a session on Hero, or Superhero?: Religious Transcendence in Comic Books and Comedic Performances (Religion and Popular Culture Group, A23-125)
Professor Gregory will be presenting a paper titled “Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPGs” in a session on Reflections on Playing with Religion in Digital Gaming (Religion, Media, and Culture Group, A24-136)
Professor Gregory will also be chairing a session on Material Interactions: Case Studies in the Cultural Production of Religious Difference (Religion and Popular Culture Group, A25-132); Professor Richard Callahan will be acting as respondent to the papers presented in that session.
Professor Callahan will also be chairing a panel on Discussing the "Nones": What They Say about the Category of Religion and American Society (Religion and Popular Culture Group A25-328)
Professor Carrie Duncan will be presenting a paper at the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR) Archaeology conference preceding the AAR/SBL meetings, titled "Words as Images: the Visual Culture of Jewish Inscriptions"
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Dr. Michael J. Zogry, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Director Indigenous Studies Program, University Kansas will present a Paine Lecture titled “Religion & Basketball: Naismith’s Game” on Tuesday, March 4, at 4pm in Arts and Science Room 104. The talk is free and open to the public.
Dr. Kathryn Lofton, Professor of Religious Studies, American Studies, History and Divinity, Yale University will present a Paine Lecture titled “Do Not Tamper With The Clues: What The Goldman Sachs Group Can Tell Us About Religion” on Thursday, March 13, at 3:30 pm in Physics Room 114. The talk is free and open to the public.
Professor Nate Hofer will be presenting a talk titled "The 'District 9' of Medieval Sufism: Sufi Immigration in 13th Century Alexandria" on Wednesday, February 12, from noon to 1pm in Memorial Union S110. The talk is sponsored by the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative.
Karline McLain, Associate Professor of Religion at Bucknell University, will be presenting a lecture titled "Hindu Godman, Muslim Saint, Bollywood Hero: The Afterlife of Shirdi Sai Baba" on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 3:30 in 316 Strickland Hall. Free and open to the public.
The department's Graduate Student Orientation will take place on Friday, August 16 from 2-4pm in room 312A of the Arts & Science Building.
Dr. Stephanie Kaza, Professor of Environmental Studies, will present the Fifth Annual Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life on April 18 at 7:30pm in Fischer Auditorium, Gannett Hall. The title of her talk will be "Responding to Environmental Challenges: Insights from Zen Buddhism." This event is free and open to the public. See flyer here.
Dr. Nate Hofer will be lecturing on "Islamophobia, the New Atheism, and the Politics of Tolerance" for the MU Dialogue Club on Tuesday, April 16, from 6-8pm in the Benton Bingham Ballroom on the second floor of Memorial Union North. Pizza and refreshments will be served.
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