"The world today, with some exceptions... is as furiously religous as it ever was, and in some places more so than ever."

Peter Berger, The Desecularization of the World (1999)

Welcome

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania offers a wide range of courses, undergraduate Majors and Minors, and a renowned PhD program. With particular strengths in the study of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and the African-American religious experience, it emphasizes historical and critical approaches, as well as interdisciplinary exploration within and beyond Religious Studies.

 

Chair of the Department: Justin McDaniel
Graduate Chair: Anthea Butler
Undergraduate Chair: Justin McDaniel

 

Read more about us...

Featured News

2017 Boardman Symposium: Sanctuary: A Public Conversation on Religion, Immigration, and Contested Spaces

Join Penn’s Religious Studies department for a public discussion with leading religious leaders, historic preservationists, and activists for sacred spaces concerning relevant and contemporary issues facing struggles and triumphs of immigration, religion and sacred spaces.

Event Date: 
04/20/2017 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Location: 

Kislak Center, Class of 1978 Pavillion Room
6th Floor, Van Pelt Library
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

UPCOMING BOOK PUBLICATIONS FROM UPENN'S RELIGIOUS STUDIES FACULTY

The School of Arts & Sciences' Omnia featured two Religious Studies Faculty members this month!

On Thursday, Omnia published, "The FBI and Religion: Steven Weitzman, Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature, discusses faith and national security."

Standing at Standing Rock

Penn's home page features a video article, "The Stand at Standing Rock", in which Tim Powell, senior lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, reflects on the significance of the stand at Standing Rock.

Statement from Faculty of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania, on Desecration of Jewish Cemeteries - 2/28/2017

As Philadelphians and Religious Studies scholars, we are deeply shocked and troubled by the recent desecration of over 100 Jewish gravestones at the Mount Carmel cemetery. This act goes beyond vandalism. Cemeteries are sacred places. Respect for the dead and their remains are among what most unifies different religions and cultures across history and geography. Desecrating these gravestones not only communicates disrespect for the dead, and their Jewish identities, but also disrupts the bonds that connect us as human beings.

Religious Liberty in the Age of Trump

Civil liberties groups have warned that the Trump presidency poses a dire threat to religious liberty in the United States, especially for Muslims but also potentially for others. A sharp rise in hate crimes directed against religious minorities has already taken place, and many fear that worse is to come. Others look forward to Trump’s presidency as a time of renewed religious liberty, expecting the federal government to stop interfering in their religious lives or even looking to it to promote their religious beliefs.