The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder combines the intimacy of a classic liberal arts education, the rigor of a strong graduate program, and a climate of engagement fostered by a research-dedicated faculty who bring teaching to life with diverse experiences and unique perspectives. Our faculty is interdisciplinary, international, and experimental.

Our research specializations range from the ancient past to the contemporary moment, from Tibet and India, to medieval and modern Europe, to the Americas and Polynesia. Beyond and across our areas of specialization, we are committed to making the study of religion accessible and relevant to public life.

We strive to chart connections between our scholarship and the always-unfolding dynamics of contemporary social and political issues. Religion, as we understand it, can never be adequately viewed from the sole vantage of scholarly ground. Nor can it be taken at face value. Interpretation, analysis, and other acts of imagination are demanded in this enterprise. This is our niche.

We invite you to join us as we continue the ever-exciting challenge of “imagining religion.”

We offer comprehensive programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degrees in religious studies. These programs aim to provide students with:

  • detailed knowledge of specific traditions,
  • a broad knowledge of a range of traditions and their historical and cultural relationships,
  • familiarity with a variety of approaches to the academic study of religion,
  • training in critical theory,
  • training in advanced research skills.

We emphasize historically- and culturally-specific studies of religion, with special attention to questions of comparison and theory. Areas of thematic strength include: religion and the body; ritual studies; dance, play and religion; politics, law, and religion; gender, sexuality, and religion. We have faculty who specialize in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, religions in America, religions in the Mediterranean, religions in Asia, and several indigenous traditions. Our faculty is highly interdisciplinary, both by way of training and by way of maintaining working connections across the university. Each faculty member is able to support advanced student training in areas of specialization on the basis of the university’s considerable resources with regard to numerous traditions. We encourage our students to make the most of interdisciplinary opportunities.

Religious Studies Department faculty members are invovled in various initiatives across campus:

Center for Media, Religion and Culture: A clearing-house of information for those interested in exploring the intersection of media, religion, and culture, including fellowship information for those interested in studying this vibrant field.

Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies: Brings the University and its constituents together to improve educational access for Native American students and advance research on issues facing Native American and Indigenous peoples.

Mediterranean Studies: Provides support for entertainment, visiting scholars, academic and outreach events, donor cultivation, program development (including travel), and equipment for the Mediterranean Studies Group.

Tibet Himalaya Initiative: Supports activities and events on the CU Boulder campus that promote understanding of Tibet and the Himalaya.

Post Holocaust American Judaism: Supports preserving materials related to the Post Holocaust American Judaism Archive including the Mazal Holocaust Collection and the Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi Collection.

Program in Jewish Studies: Explores Jewish culture, history, society and thought from a broad, interdisciplinary perspective.