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

All News
Daniel Vaca, Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities wins honorable mention for his book, Evangelicals Incorporated: Books and the Business of Religion in America, from the Modern Language Assocation's Matei Calinesco Prize.
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News from Religious Studies

New Course Fall 2021: Ecowomanism

Religious Studies is excited to announce a new course taught this fall 2021: RELS 2600H, Ecowomanism with Visiting Professor Melanie Harris.
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News from Religious Studies

2021 McVickar Prize Winners

The Department of Religious Studies is proud to announce the winners of the Bishop McVickar Thesis Prizes for 2021. Originally instituted in 1909 by the Rt. Rev. William Neilson McVickar, the prizes are awarded annually for the best honor theses written on any topic related to the academic study of religion. Submissions are invited from current Brown University students in any concentration, drawing on any methodology.
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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.