Religion Department

The Religion Department is dedicated to the academic study of religion as a complex and dynamic phenomenon deeply interwoven with other aspects of life and culture. It is an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum of the University. The department's goals are:

  • To teach about the world's religious traditions, introducing students to the thought, beliefs, institutions, symbolic expressions, worship, and social and moral implications of these traditions, and to illuminate their interaction with other social and cultural forms, including other religious traditions;
  • To introduce students to the various methods employed in religious studies: historical, philosophical and theological, sociological and psychological, textual, hermeneutical and aesthetic, and comparative;
  • To provide a place for addressing big questions of value, meaning, and human cares and for assessing the ways these are addressed in religious communities;
  • To encourage students to think about religious ways of life tolerantly, sympathetically, and yet critically.

Upcoming Events

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News and Announcements

Tessa Rajak

Friday, March 25, 2016

Historian and Professor Emerita Tessa Rajak to Speak at W&L

Tessa Rajak, a British expert on Hellenistic and Roman-era Judaism, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on March 29 at 5 p.m. in the Hillel House, room 101. While at W&L, she will be the Class of 1963 Visiting Scholar in Residence sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Departments of Religion and Classics.

Caroline Osella

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Caroline Osella to Lecture in Global Fellows Seminar

Caroline Osella, a reader in anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, will lecture at W&L as part of the Winter 2016 Global Fellows Seminar: Tradition and Change in the Middle East and South Asia. Her talk will be Jan. 27, 2016, at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.