Department of Religion
Trying to make sense of the world today? Experience a bigger worldview. Explore religious life and thought in art, literature, philosophy and more, and examine the role it plays in society today.
Religion helps humanity find meaning and purpose. Through history, it has both united and polarized.
Study the world's great religious traditions, grapple with profound ethical and theological questions, and explore religion in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary context.
You will learn to interpret the dynamics of religious thought, convictions, actions and expressions. Some of the questions you will encounter include:
- What kind of life is most worth living?
- How do we understand the nature of the world?
- How do we relate to ourselves and others?
Study religious life and thought from the perspectives of arts, ethics, ethnography, gender, history, literature, mythology, philosophy, political theory, psychology, scriptural studies, social sciences and theology.
Knowledge of religion is critical in today’s world. The academic study of religion is not simply a critical undertaking. It is often a transforming experience, introducing you to unfamiliar aspects of your own world, and to the religious realities of our global situation.
What can I do with a religion degree?
Majoring or minoring in religion enables you to develop critical awareness and understanding of one of the foundations of human culture and society. Doing so provides a good foundation for careers in:
- Public policy
- International relations
- Civil rights law
- Social work
- The arts
- Television, radio and film
- Public history
- And, of course, ministry in several faith traditions
Religion is central to the foundations of global societies with which diplomats and foreign relations experts must engage. Many double majors and minors recognize this benefit and couple a major or minor in religion with majors in international relations, political science, anthropology, philosophy, pre-law, studio art, art history, history, English and textual studies, foreign languages, or economics.
To learn more about your options, talk to you advisor today.
Broaden your perspective with an international experience through Syracuse Abroad. Religion majors often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in London and Madrid.
Summer programs of interest include Religion, Law, and Human Rights in a Comparative Perspective (Strasbourg, France); Exploring Jewish Life in Central Europe, Middle East Policies and Security Studies in Israel, and Revolutions, War, and the Prospects for Democracy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE).
There are no events in this category right now, but please check the University calendar for many other options.
Books by Faculty
Singapore, Spirituality, and the Space of the State: Soul of the Little Red Dot, by Joanne Punzo Waghorne, edited by Eade, Soar and Tremlett, Bloomsbury Academic (March 19, 2020), 280 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1350086555
Living Philosophy in Kierkegaard, Melville, and Others: Intersections of Literature, Philosophy, and Religion, by Edward F. Mooney, Bloomsbury Academic (December 12, 2019), 200pp., ISBN-13: 978-1501357718
How and Why Books Matter: Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts, by James W. Watts, Equinox Publishing, 2019-03-15, 200 pp.
Sensing Sacred Texts, edited by James W. Watts, Equinox Publishing, 2018, 256 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1781795750
Ancient Christian Ecopoetics Cosmologies, Saints, Things, by Virginia Burrus, University of Pennsylvania Press (Oct 2018), 296 pp., ISBN 9780812250794
In the Eye of the Animal: Zoological Imagination in Ancient Christianity (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion), by Patricia Cox Miller, University of Pennsylvania Press (3 July 2018), 280 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0812250350
Feeling Religion, contributing author M. Gail Hamner, Duke University Press Books (January 5, 2018), 296 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0822370376
Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture, by James W. Watts, 2017, 328 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1405196383
Inaugural Phyllis Backer Professor brings an interdisciplinary approach to Jewish Studies.
Ph.D. candidate in religion receives dissertation fellowship to analyze contemporary Buddhist charities in Southeast Asia.