Skip to main content

Department of Religion: Undergraduate Studies


Why Study Religion at Syracuse?

Religion is deeply connected to the human experience. Courses in our department explore the role of religion in society, philosophy, art, and literature. They examine both the historical role of religion in the making of human thought and civilization and how religion continues to play a crucial role in society today.

Our introductory and upper-division courses focus on traditions, society, inquiry, and literature. They explore Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, indigenous religions, and religions of the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean worlds. Courses such as Religion and Sport, #blacklivesmatter and Religion, Morality and Community, Christianity and Sexuality, Stem Cells and Society, and Goddesses, Women and Power in Hinduism examine the many ways in which religion functions in society. Philosophical inquiry focuses other course offerings such as: What is Belief?; Ecstasy, Transgression, Religion; Religion, Meaning and Knowledge; Psychology, Spirituality, Love and Ethics; Queerly Religious; God in Political Theory; and Religion, Art and Aesthetics. The study of religion and literature rounds out our rich interdisciplinary offerings with courses such as Religion, Literature, Film, The Bible in History, Culture and Religion, Great Jewish Writers, Travel Narratives and Pilgrimages, and Enchanting Words: Muslim Poets, Singers, and Storytellers.

In addition to our rich interdisciplinary approach to religion, we also offer small classes that allow you to get to know and to work closely with your professors. All of this helps you to read, write, and think about the world around you in a critical and informed way.

Why Major or Minor in Religion at Syracuse?

Majoring or minoring in Religion can enable you to develop a critical awareness and understanding of one of the foundations of human culture and society. In doing so, it provides a good foundation for careers in diplomacy, public policy, international relations, civil rights law, social work, counseling, psychotherapy, medicine, the arts, television, radio and film, public history, education, journalism, and, of course, ministry in several faith traditions. Former Secretary of State John Kerry immediately recognized the significance of the academic study of religion on taking office. He mused that if he could have returned to college, he would have majored in Religion because it is central to the foundations of global societies with which diplomats and foreign relations experts must engage. Many of our double majors and minors recognize this benefit, and couple a major or minor in Religion with majors in International Relations, Political Science, Anthropology, Philosophy, Pre-Law, Studio Art, Art History, History, English and Textual Studies, Foreign Languages, and Economics.


Current Courses

Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Marcia C. Robinson
501 Hall of Languages


Philip P. Arnold
501 Hall of Languages


Ahmed E. Abdel-Meguid, Philip P. Arnold, Zachary J. Braiterman, Virginia Burrus, Gareth J. Fisher, Ken Frieden, Ann Grodzins Gold, Biko Mandela GrayM. Gail Hamner, Tazim R. Kassam, R. Gustav Niebuhr, William A. Robert, Marcia C. Robinson, Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Ernest E. Wallwork, James W. Watts