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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Ancient Sworn Sisters

NPR highlights the long term friendship between two female scholars and the ancient ritual that made them sisters, our own, Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey, and Robin Darling Young (Catholic University).
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Brown Alumni Magazine

Happiness & the Pursuit of the Good Life

Last year more than 400 students, half of them seniors, enrolled in a new religious studies course with Prof. Michael Satlow, RELS0010: Happiness and the Pursuit of the Good Life. What was the draw?
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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.