"To practice the history of religions... is to insist on discussing the temporal, contextual, situated, interested, human, and material dimensions of those discourses, practices, and institutions that characteristically represent themselves as eternal, transcendent, spiritual, and divine."

- Bruce Lincoln, "Theses on Method" (1996)

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, the African-American religious experience, and material and visual culture, it emphasizes historical and critical approaches, as well as interdisciplinary exploration within and beyond Religious Studies.

Chair of the Department: Jamal J. Elias
Graduate Chair: Anthea Butler
Undergraduate Chair: Justin McDaniel

 

Read more about us...

Featured News

Colloquium Schedule Fall 2019

Event Date: 
09/12/2019 (All day) - 11/14/2019 (All day)
Event Location: 

Religion and the Walt Disney Company

Speaker: 

Jodi Eichler-Levine of Lehigh University

Event Date: 
09/26/2019 - 3:00pm - 4:20pm
Event Location: 

Religion and the Global Future - New Spring 2019 Course

Spring Semester 2019
Religious Studies 137

Religion and the Global Future
Instructors: Steven Weitzman and Marie Harf

A new and one time only course, it will explore what role religion is playing in shaping the future of the globe. 

The course is accompanied by a guest lecture series open to the university community.

Timothy Powell: In Memory

It is with profound sadness that the Department of Religious Studies announces the passing away of our wonderful colleague, Dr. Timothy Burgess Powell, on November 1, 2018.

Unstable Archives: A Workshop on Gender and Digital Humanities in South Asia


Speakers:
- Jamal Elias, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities
  University of Pennsylvania
- Sneha Krishnan, Associate Professor of Geography
  University of Oxford
- Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality
  Harvard University
-
Megan Robb, Julie and Martin Franklin Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
  University of Pennsylvania
- Anna Lise Seastrand, Assistant Professor of Art History
  University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
-
Layli Uddin, Project Curator Tow Centuries of Indian Print
  British Library

Please join us for a day of discussion on how digital humanities and feminist approaches both destabilize the archive and offer new opportunities to reshape the archive as a mode of translation and mediation.

Event Date: 
09/08/2018 - 9:30am - 5:00pm
Event Location: 

Class of 1978 Pavillion
Kislak Center
Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor