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.