Department of Religious Studies

The study of religion represents an essential ingredient of a liberal arts education by encouraging sustained reflection on what it is to be human. In doing so, we seek to combine critical analysis with sympathetic imagination, allowing us to understand more fully not only the ‘data’ of vast, diverse and influential religious traditions, but also the human beings who uphold them.

Toward these ends, our field utilizes a tremendous breadth of conceptual tools to foster understanding of religion in all its richness, drawing from anthropology, archeology, history, literature, psychology, philosophy, politics, sociology and theology. Our course offerings reflect an abiding commitment to the study of the traditions that have indelibly shaped our own society, as well as an active engagement with a broad range of the world’s religions that presently constitute our global environment. At Hendrix, students pursue their interests in religion through varied activities including: textual studies, field work, international travel, one-on-one interviews, film studies, artistic projects and service learning.

Students of religion think deeply about matters of the utmost concern, including the purpose of life, the nature of reality, and our relationships with others. They develop skills of careful reading and clear writing as they wrestle with these fundamental questions, as well as a greater appreciation of their own assumptions, a respect for others, and a firm basis for constructively contributing to solutions for the problems of our time.

Learning Goals