University of Chicago

Department Name: 
Religious Studies
Approximate Enrollment (entire institution): 
Number of Religion Majors: 
Number of Full-Time Departmental Faculty: 
Public Institution?: 
Related to a religious denomination or body?: 
Which best describes the institution?: 
Grants bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees
Department offers undergraduate coursework in ministerial preparation (either a track, a minor, or a major)?: 
Department or institution offers masters programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Department or institution offers doctoral programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Description of Undergraduate Major: 

The program in Religious Studies engages enduring questions about religion and human society. It investigates religions and how they shape and are shaped by human cultures. Studying religion invites us to consider humanity in its quest for transcendence and communion with the divine. It permits us to see what effect these desires have had on individuals and communities, for good or for ill. Since it touches all facets of human experience, the study of religion is a crucial conversation partner with many other fields of study.

The study of religion involves explorations and investigations of religious phenomena throughout the world, and invites multiple perspectives. Students of religion should know the historical development of specific religious traditions, understand and critically engage the ethical and intellectual teachings of various religions, and begin to make some comparative appraisals of the roles that religions play in different cultures and historical periods. Students in the College who major or minor in Religious Studies are able to explore numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.