Department of Religious Studies

Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies at Brown University provides students with an understanding of a variety of religious traditions, an exposure to the academic approaches employed within the academic study of religion, as well as an opportunity to explore diverse intellectual, social-theoretical, cultural, and ethical issues that arise when one considers the various manifestations of religion in human affairs.

The graduate program in Religious Studies, with select areas of concentrated strength, is one of the finest in the world, and the undergraduate program is broad and creative, serving a large number of students both inside and outside the concentration.

Religious Studies strives to be an open, inclusive department. In addition to combatting all forms of discrimination, including racism, sexism, and homophobia, we are committed to fostering an appreciation of diverse perspectives in our curriculum, departmental activities, and faculty and student development. 


The academic study of religion cultivates understanding of societies and cultures throughout the world by exploring religious thought and practice in various historical, geographic, and political contexts.
The graduate program in Religious Studies at Brown is one of the finest in the nation.

Recent News

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Professor Daniel Vaca (Brown) together with Laura McTicghe (NYU) and Elayne Oliphant (NYU) win a prestigious grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for their project “Creating the World Anew: Religion and Mutual Aid.” The project seeks to “identify and foster connections between religious and economic dimensions of human flourishing.” The idea is to explore the relationship between religion and mutual aid, with the ultimate goal to fund what they call “local mutual aid experiments,” on the ground community action, to help make positive change.
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Additional Information

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Our staff and faculty support students in fulfilling their research, teaching and learning goals.
Religious Studies faculty and students engage in a wide array of research. View highlights of ongoing projects in the field.

Religious Studies has a new Facebook page! Come check us out and learn about the latest events, news and other happenings in the Department, community and beyond.