August 20, 2015

Love Before Logic: Politics, Persuasion, and the Puritans

Abram Van Engen

Prof. Abram Van Engen, Assistant Professor of English, writes about civil discourse and what modern politicians could learn from the Puritans in his article, "Love Before Logic: Politics, Persuasion, and the Puritans," for the Oxford University Press blog. Prof. Van Engen's first book, Sympathetic Puritans: Calvinist Fellow Feeling in Early New England, was recently published by Oxford University Press.

About Religious Studies

Religion permeates everything—being informed about it endows one with deeper insight regarding artistic, business, and international phenomena. People who are religiously literate are in a better position to examine and respond to individual, interpersonal, and political dynamics—from human development, the fine arts and identity studies to history, science, urban planning, public policy and health care. The ability to navigate and recognize the perspective and influence of world religions can inform collaborations, organizational management, and responses to current issues. It is a key that empowers people in addressing circumstances from increasingly diverse neighborhoods and workplaces to national and world events.

M. R. Diamond, “Religious Literacy Across the Disciplines,” 2011


Few will contest the fact that, despite predictions to the contrary, religion continues to play a central role in contemporary culture, politics, identity, and conflict in every part of the globe. At the same time, the fast-moving forces of globalization, migration, and technology continue to bring diverse religious communities in closer proximity, often creating new religious communities in the process. As a result, it has become ever more essential for people living in today’s world to be “religiously literate.”


The Religious Studies Program at Washington University is designed to provide students with the opportunity to not only acquire basic knowledge of the beliefs and practices of the major world religions, but also learn how to engage in a critical appraisal of both their historic and their contemporary significance. ...Click here to read more

Upcoming Events

October 13, 2015 - 5:30pm

Across Legal Lines: Jews and Muslims in Modern Morocco

Prof. Jessica Maya Marglin
Busch Hall, room 18

This talk explores how Jews navigated the various legal institutions that coexisted in pre-colonial Morocco and during the first decades of colonial rule.

February 25, 2016

Weltin Lecture: Collaboration, Corruption, and Identity in the Wake of Persecution: Religious Conflict and Its Legacy

Prof. Elizabeth Digeser

In this lecture, Digeser will compare the division of North African Christians into two camps after Diocletian’s persecution (303 CE) with two modern examples. These case studies suggest that communities whose members perform multiple identities before persecution may split into hostile camps in the aftermath, if one side perceives the other as somehow compromised, as collaborating or corrupt.