About the Department

Our faculty studies religious traditions across the globe, from Asia to Africa to Europe and North America, from antiquity to the present, and from a variety of perspectives. Some of us are primarily historians, who explore how particular religions originated and developed; others of us are ethicists or philosophers, who bring religious texts and practices to bear on questions of abiding and immediate interest; and others of us are ethnographers or anthropologists, who analyze how communities make meaning through religious beliefs and rituals. Most of us combine all of these ways of thinking about religion in our work, and we all are interested in the role that religion plays in culture and society more generally.

Our department is proud of the scholarship and teaching of its faculty and of the achievements of our students and alumni/ae. We invite you to participate in the life of our department.

Photo of the Religious Studies Faculty

If you are an undergraduate, our courses will help you to learn about the diverse cultures of our increasingly connected world and perhaps to explore your own religious tradition more deeply. The size of our department means that you can form close relationships with your professors and fellow students even in a large university.

If you are interested in graduate work in religious studies, you can use this web site to investigate how the research and teaching interests of our faculty may help you to reach your own scholarly and professional goals.

If you are an IU graduate student in another department, courses in religious studies or a doctoral minor can enhance your knowledge of your chosen area of study and expand your methodological resources.

We encourage our alumni/ae to remain connected to this intellectual community. Please keep in touch and let us know what you are doing, and if you return to Bloomington, please stop by Sycamore Hall and say hello.

Finally, we invite anyone who comes across this site to explore the work of our faculty in their books and articles. It is increasingly clear that we cannot fully understand ourselves or other people and cultures without some knowledge of religion in all its diversity. Religion is an extraordinarily exciting way to study the world.