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Department of Religious Studies

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Why study religious studies?

Because studying the place of religion in human life remains central to understanding both what divides us and what unites us.

Undergraduate Programs

Religions have been and remain among the most powerful forces shaping human history. Their discourses and practices inform the way we perceive ourselves, those around us, and existence at large, even when we are not actively religious. They are central to understanding both what divides us and what unites us. The academic study of religion is a transdisciplinary endeavor to understand from an objective perspective how religious traditions shape the lives of their adherents, without seeking to promote or disprove any specific belief system. The undergraduate program in religious studies acquaints students with the diversity of religious cultures and introduces them to key methods and theories employed in their examination as “religion.”

Why study religious studies?

Because studying the place of religion in human life remains central to understanding both what divides us and what unites us.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a graduate program leading to the M.A. with a major in religious studies. The program enables students to pursue specialized advanced work that builds in tandem on the interests of the students and the specializations of the faculty. At all levels, interdepartmental and interdisciplinary cooperation is encouraged as important to a comprehensive program. Continuing research in religious studies is an indispensable and foundational element, intimately related both to teaching and to the wider exchange and advancement of knowledge.

A library of some 15,000 volumes, owned by the Friends of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, is housed with and used by the department in Irma I. Smith Hall.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.