January 22, 2018

Summer Courses are now online!

Religious Studies is offering 3 new courses for Sumer 2018!  Check out:

  • L23  380 Anime and Animi - A Popular Cultural Approach To Shinto: Topics in Religious Studies
    Explore the enchanted universe of Shinto, Japan's indigenous religion, through the lens of anime.
    Dr. Tobias Zuern in Summer session I (5/21/18 - 6/8/18): MTuWThF 1:00p-4:00p

  • L23  3302 Religion And Health: From Holy Madness To Medicalized Meditation: Topics In Religion And Science
    Discover the various relationships between religion and health in this board, introductory course.
    Dr. Laura Vollmer in Summer session II (6/11/18-7/13/18): MTuWThF 11:00a-12:45p

  • L23  140 Hinduism In Performance
    Develop an enriched experiential knowledge of South Asian performance as a rich facet of Hindu religious life and enhance our own aesthetic appreciation and expressivity.
    Dr. James Pierce in Summer session IV (7/16/18-8/16/18): MTuWThF 9:00a-10:45a

Summer enrollment begins on Wednesday, March 28th. For more information about summer school registration visit: https://summerschool.wustl.edu/registration.

About Religious Studies

…if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions rather than political science." - John Kerry, “Religion and Diplomacy


Religion is a major source of inspiration, meaning, and controversy in human societies. Fast-moving forces of globalization, migration, and technology continue to bring diverse communities into closer proximity, often creating new religious communities in the process. The Religious Studies Program at Washington University gives students the opportunity to learn about diverse religions as well as to study past and current events with a critical but open mind.

One does not have to be religious in order to study religion! Religious Studies covers subjects as diverse as U.S. politics, Beyoncé, the Middle East, atheism, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and Buddhist philosophies. The diversity of topics that can be covered in Religious Studies is huge and must be studied in all their interdisciplinary complexity. As such, courses offered by our program are taught by faculty in a variety of disciplines and areas, including: The Danforth Center on Religion and Politics; Anthropology; Classics; East Asian Languages and Cultures; English; History; Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies; and Political Science.

A major in Religious Studies will help you understand and appreciate the complex ways in which religious traditions inform human thought and behavior. A double major or a minor will also enhance a broad range of studies from politics and law to business and medicine. So whether you are interested in preparing for the advanced academic study of religion, seeking to complement another area of study, or simply feel the need to acquire a greater knowledge of religions, a major or minor in Religious Studies is excellent preparation for living and working in a pluralistic society and global culture.

Upcoming Events

January 26, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Coffee Hour

Busch Hall, room 18
Religious Studies invites you to our monthly coffee hour! Stop by any time between 10:30 and noon for a beverage/yummy snack and to visit with faculty and students. Stay as long (or as short) as your schedule allows.
January 29, 2018 - 4:00pm

Maimonides and the Merchants: Jewish Law and Society in the Medieval Islamic World

Prof. Mark R. Cohen
Busch Hall, room 18

In his latest book, Maimonides and the Merchants, Mark R. Cohen reveals the extent of Moses Maimonides’ pragmatic revisions to the halakha, or body of Jewish law, introduced by in his Mishneh Torah. While Maimonides insisted that he was merely restating already established legal practice, in actuality he extensively reformulated Jewish law to inscribe commerce into a formerly agrarian society. Over and again, the language of Talmudic rulings was altered to provide Jewish merchants with alternatives to Islamic law and the Islamic judicial system.

January 30, 2018 - 7:00pm

What do Francis of Assisi and Francis of Buenos Aires Have in Common? A ‘Franciscan’ Perspective on the Common Good

Fr. Michael Perry
Fr. Michael Perry
Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall

Fr. Michael Perry, a member of the Order of Friars Minor/Franciscans, completed his doctorate in social anthropology (religious anthropology) at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He has served as a foreign policy adviser to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, an adviser on African religion and social policy at Franciscans International, U.N./New York, as well as a policy and programs adviser at Catholic Relief Services.