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Religious Studies Program

Cornell University Cornell University Religious Studies Program

Religious Studies Program

Orthodox Church

Christ the Redeemer


Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Arabic Writing


Pha That Luang

Modhera Hindu Temple

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logo6_1Welcome to the Religious Studies Program, where religious traditions are explored in all of their complexity through comparative, contextual (in specific historical or cultural contexts), and thematic studies. We offer a major in Religious Studies through the College of Arts and Sciences and a minor for students from across the university. The courses offered through our program are built on the established scholarly tradition of the study of religion as an academic, as opposed to confessional, pursuit. The Religious Studies Program is designed to meet the needs of three classes of students: (1) students planning to pursue advanced degrees in the academic study of religion or allied disciplines or sub-disciplines (e.g., history of religions, religion and literature, religion and psychology, ethics, theology, area studies); (2) students seeking courses on topics relating to religion to fulfill distribution requirements: and (3) students desiring a more systematic exposure to the academic study of religion as a significant component of a liberal arts education. To all students, our major offers an excellent opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricate ways in which religious traditions inform human thought and behavior.
The program also hosts lectures, conferences, symposia, and periodic social gatherings for faculty members and students throughout the academic year to foster a sense of intellectual community.