Religion is a major force in human experience. Religion is powerful. It has sparked warfare and terrorism and has been the root cause of manifold forms of violence, human degradation and environmental exploitation throughout history. And yet religion also has been the foundation of movements for social justice and systems of ethics that inspire people to live peacefully together and with respect toward the natural environment. Religion is persistent and prominent. It is present everywhere, in countless traditions, affecting all facets of daily life from politics and aesthetics to family structure and commerce.
Religious Studies is the academic field that explores the social and cultural phenomenon called religion. Because religion is so powerful, persistent and prominent, Religious Studies offers students a unique window into the deepest currents of human culture.
Religious Studies at OSU is an inter-disciplinary field that combines history, philosophy, anthropology, ethics, textual analysis, art, literature and film to examine the ways that humans have described and acted in response to that which they have called divine, both in civilizations long past and among peoples and nations around the world in the present moment. A major in Religious Studies will expose you to some of the most profound and beautiful creations of the human imagination, give you expertise in critical reasoning and close engagement with texts and ideas, give you skills to navigate the cultural complexity of our diverse society, and prepare you to be a participatory citizen of our interconnected global environment.