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.


May 4, 2015

Professor Dennis Kelley recently discussed Native American student enrollment at MU:

March 5, 2015

Samuel Stella and Rachel Koehn have been named the Chapman Scholars of Religion for 2015, and Nicole Formhals is 2015 recipient of the department's Community Service Scholarship. Congratulations!

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).

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Prof. Anna Bigelow from North Carolina State University will present a talk titled “Everyday Secularism: Sufi Shrines and Interreligious Devotion in Modern India” on Friday, April 10, at 3pm in 42 Cornell Hall. This talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Davíd Carrasco of Harvard University will be presenting the Seventh Annual Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life on April 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm in Tate Hall 22. The title of his talk will be “Borderlands, Migrant Saints, Sacred Bundles: Latinos and the Remaking of American Religiosity.” The talk is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception with books available for purchase.

More information here

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.

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