Graduate study in the Department of Religious Studies analyze the ways in which diverse religious traditions originate, develop, and interact over time. Students learn to identify and use multiple methods for the study of religion, including historical, philosophical, ethical, literary, linguistic, psychological, ethnographic, and digital approaches. Students can draw on the expertise of the entire religious studies faculty and are also encouraged to work with faculty members in other UI departments who specialize in their areas of interest. Many religious studies graduate students work, for example, with faculty in Anthropology, English, History, and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures, as well as Classics and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.
Graduate study in the department is flexible. It can accommodate individual students’ interests within the limits of existing faculty expertise. Sample plans of study for MA and PhD coursework can be found here.
Programs of graduate study are often developed in relation to one of the following traditional areas of concentration:
Religions of Southwest Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean
- Religion, law, and politics in the Islamic world; the history of interpretation of the texts and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Greco-Roman and Egyptian religion and culture; digital humanities
Religions of East Asia
- Religious traditions of China and the political, social, and economic factors that have shaped them; modern religion and culture in Korea, most notably Christianity; religion and gender in transnational perspective; religion and empire
Religions of the United States and the Transatlantic World
- History and ethnography of religion in the US; African American religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, and African diaspora religions); West African religions; religion, media, and the negotiation of technological change; Latina/o/x Christianity
Religion, Ethics, and Society
- Religion and morality; religion, emotion, and affect; human rights; religions’ relationships to gender, race, ethnicity, and social justice; ethics of medicine and biotechnology; religion and health
Programs can also be developed by theme. Common themes include:
- Religious Diversity in Public Life
- Religion and Gender
- Religion and Race
- Religion and Media
- Religion, Health, and Healing
Click here for the requirements of the Master of Arts Degree
Click here for the requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy Degree.
Click here for faculty profiles.
For specific inquiries about graduate study, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies: Professor Jenna Supp-Montomerie.