Why Study Religion

Religion in its varied expression informs the lives of most of the world’s population, both currently and historically. It has been the inspiration for literature, art, and music, and the source of law, meaning and values, social solidarity, and conflict. Religion—Western, Eastern, and otherwise—is a vast cluster of cultural phenomena (including sacred texts, mythologies and theologies, moral codes, and every conceivable kind of ritual) that is best explored from the perspective of more than one discipline.

Religious Studies at Union

What are the foundational principles of Islam—and how do they compare to their (mis)representations in the media? Why are Americans so interested in Buddhism, and how is Buddhism practiced in this country? How is religion featured in Mass Effect and Stargate, and what does that suggest about our culture’s popular perception of religion? These are some of the intriguing questions Union students tackle in their Religious Studies courses and research. By bringing together a variety of disciplinary approaches, our curriculum provides a perfect intellectual arena in which to explore the complex world of religion.

Religious Studies and Liberal Arts

An essential part of Liberal Arts education, courses in Religious Studies are essential to cultivation of religious literacy and open-minded and responsible engagement with other people, societies,and worldviews.

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