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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:

  • Diplomacy
  • Public policy
  • International relations
  • Civil rights law
  • Social work
  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medicine
  • The arts
  • Television, radio and film
  • Public history
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • 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.

Study abroad

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).

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Books by Faculty
Students sitting at a table writing.

(March 28, 2023)

Uniting the Community in the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

The Environmental Storytelling Series of CNY brings together faculty, students and local community partners to address the climate crisis through creative outlets.

Tolley Humanities Building

(April 14, 2022)

Humanities Center Fellowships and Grants Support Graduate Student Research in the Humanities

Thanks to this support, recipients are positioned for success in their fields.

Portrait of Michael Steele.

(March 11, 2022)

Be Not Afraid: Faith as the Cornerstone of Public Service

Michael Steele, former RNC chair, to deliver the 2022 Borgognoni Lecture.

Philip Arnold standing next to the Peace Tree.

(Jan. 7, 2022)

Examining the History and Consequences of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery

Professor Philip Arnold is principal investigator on a Luce Foundation grant awarded to Syracuse University to explore the impact of the Doctrine.