"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion. Because that is how integrated it is in everything we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today."
– Secretary of State John Kerry in a speech on August 7, 2013.
To Understand the Human Experience
Part of a liberal arts education is to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the human experience. Among the major components that make up a human life, religious ideas and practices have been, and continue to be, among the most important. Human beings have traditionally understood themselves and their relations with others in religious terms. Ideas about the divine world and the sacred have profoundly shaped human values, behaviors, and societies. The discipline of religious studies attempts to understand religious belief and practices, and their contributions to politics, society, and culture, from antiquity to the present and throughout the world.
Understand World Religions
To better understand the beliefs, practices, and sacred writings of the 5 billion Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and other practitioners.
Understand Global Cultures
To better understand people, cultures, societies, and gender dynamics in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
To learn about when, where, and how key leaders founded their own religious movements and why their messages attracted the allegiance of the masses.
Understand Global Conflicts
To study religion’s role in global conflicts and peace-building in Palestine, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, India, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka.
Gain Competitive Edge in the Job Market
Studying world religions, culture, conflicts, and foreign languages can set you apart from your competition and give you an edge with the U.S. State Department, multi-national corporations, relief agencies, marketing agencies, Peace Corps, Fulbright Fellowships, teaching pro-grams, and graduate schools.
Be Agents of Change
To study how the world’s most important leaders drew on religious ideas to bring about revolutionary social, cultural, and political change.