"For much of the twentieth century, most American intellectuals dreamed of a public square empty of religious actors and religious arguments... But then came the deluge: the election of Jimmy Carter, the Iranian Revolution, the rise of the Moral Majority, the Reagan Revolution, 9/11, and the faith-based presidential election of 2004.... Evidence of the public power of religion is overwhelming, particuarly in the United States."

- Stephen Prothero, Religious Literacy (2007)

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

Justin McDaniel - "Classroom Trailblazer"

RELS356301 Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints and the Contemplative Life


 

RELS Welcomes Donovan Schaefer- Assistant Professor in Material Culture Studies & Religion


Donovan S
chaefer joins the Department of Religious Studies as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2017, after spending three years as a lecturer at the University of Oxford.

 

 

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.