Welcome to Religious Studies

“In a world where people of all faiths are migrating and mingling like never before, we ignore the global impact of religion at our peril”

– Madeline Albright, United States Secretary of State (2015)

“If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that’s how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today.”

– United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry

Why Study Religion

As a Religious Studies student at East Carolina University, you will study religion from a nonsectarian, interdisciplinary fashion, and explore religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon with significant influence in the world. The Religious Studies program neither excludes nor promotes any religious tradition or viewpoint. In addition to exploring specific religions, students take courses in a variety of disciplines that consider religious themes and approaches. Some of these disciplines include anthropology, archaeology, art, history, literature, philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Religion is a social phenomenon that has great influence on human experience. Across the world history, religious values have, on the one hand, given human meaning and these traditions have laid the foundation for human relations as documented in human rights, democracy, social justice movements, interfaith interaction, tolerance and peace. On the other hand, religious ideologies have fueled conflict and encouraged insecurities such as acts of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, leading to dislocation and migration of populations and in some cases economies and general welfare of people have been destroyed. This is what great United States Secretaries of the State have said regarding the significance of studying religion. Be a part of it.

ECU Religious Studies Overview

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