Richard J. Callahan, Jr., Chair

221 Arts & Science Building, Columbia, MO 65211-7090 / 573-882-4769


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
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • 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.


January 16, 2015

Prof. Carrie Duncan’s article on Gender and Economics in Early Judaism is included in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies (Oxford, 2014).

January 16, 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Dan Cohen on the publication of his article "Ghost Exorcism, Memory, and Healing in Hinduism"! You can find it in the book Disease, Religion and Healing in Asia: Collaborations and Collisions, edited by Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan and Zhou Xun (Rutledge, 2015).

January 12, 2015

Congratulations to Prof. Dennis Kelley, who was one of three Mizzou faculty to be awarded the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award. The award recognizes early-career faculty for superior teaching and advising on the MU campus.

August 29, 2014

Congratulations to Rabia Gregory on being awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor! Prof. Gregory also has a chapter, "Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World-Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPG," in a new book on religion and video games, Playing with Religion in Digital Games, edited by Heidi A, Campbell and Gregory P. Grieve (Indiana University Press, 2014).

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Dr. John Modern of Franklin & Marshall College will be speaking about “Adventures in the Religion Machine: Scientology, Structuralism, and William S. Burroughs” at 3pm on Friday, February 27 in 42 Cornell Hall. Free and open to the public.

Mizzou's own Dr. Carrie Duncan is giving the next Saturday Morning Science lecture on November 8, 10:30 am in the Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center. Dr. Duncan's talk is titled "What's Beneath the Sand? Excavating the Fortress at Ayn Gharandal, Jordan" Come find out what was life like as a Roman soldier on the Empire's eastern edge, Excavations at Gharandal uncover exciting and surprising finds beneath the sand.

Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Distinguished Professor in the Humanities,  Washington University in St Louis will present a Paine Lecture titled "'Practice Makes Perfect': Mormons and the Politics of Cultural Representation" on October 20, 2014 at 4:30 in Cornell 42.

Jill Peterfeso, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies  Guilford College, will present a Paine Lecture titled “Woman Priest:  the 21st Century Ordination of Women in Roman Catholicism” in Tate Hall, Room 110 on October 13, 2014 at 4:30.

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