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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
Graphic with image of Native American artwork and a scene from a comic book movie.

(June 13, 2024)

From Comics to Canvases: Exploring Diverse Cultural Contributions

Two A&S faculty, Will Scheibel and Scott Manning Stevens, curate thought-provoking summer exhibitions.

Cover of the book "Unbridled" showing a photo of a horses head in black and white

(April 11, 2024)

William Robert Wins American Academy of Religion Book Award

Robert’s innovative approach to teaching religion comes through in his book Unbridled: Studying Religion in Performance.

Krushil Watene sitting and smiling in a library

(Jan. 18, 2024)

Indigenous Philosophies Can Create Global Change and More Just Futures

Krushil Watene, Māori scholar from Aotearoa New Zealand, is the 2024 Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, March 18-29.

Mariaelena Huambachano smiling in a red, striped poncho

(Nov. 27, 2023)

Indigenous Studies Researcher Advises the UN on Inequalities in Food Security and Nutrition

A&S scholar, Mariaelena Huambachano, travels the world gathering and sharing research on the wisdom of “Traditional Ecological Knowledge”, while passing it down to the next generation through her teaching at Syracuse.