"Religions have influenced both individuals and nations, and have inspired some of the world's most beautiful art, architecture, literature, and music... Knowledge about religions is not only a characteristic of an educated person but is absolutely necessary for understanding and living in a world of diversity."

- 1998 Position Statement of the National Council for the Social Studies

 

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: Annette Yoshiko Reed
Undergraduate Chair: Justin McDaniel

 

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Featured News

FALL 2016: RELIGION & VIOLENCE

Is religion inescapably violent? This course will explore the links between religion and violence through the examination of several case studies. In these case studies, we will ask how religious commitment and doctrine may inspire violence and what such violence may tell us about "religion."

RELS Fall 2016 Courses

Looking for interesting courses for the fall? Check out our RELS undergraduate offerings -- including many that fulfill College sector and foundational approaches requirements.

Prof. McDaniel among 34st Street's "Penn's Best Professors"

After tallying over 150 nominations for the best professor at Penn, 34st Street selected Penn's best-loved profs—among them, our very own Prof. Justin McDaniel!