The Department of Religious Studies offers students the opportunity to engage in the academic study of religion. Because our era is characterized by a resurgence of religion in the public sphere, we see that religion has become central to contemporary culture, politics, identity, and conflict in every part of the globe. At the same time, our world is marked by an emerging pluralism, as globalization, migration, and technology bring diverse religious communities in closer proximity, and create new religious communities as well. Drawing on a host of academic disciplines, religious studies challenges students to encounter the traditions of the world in all their rich diversity, and also prepares them to facilitate the important conversations of our day. Further, students may find that the study of religions can help them respond not only to political, social and environmental challenges, but also to existential questions faced by all peoples.
A truly interdisciplinary field, the study of religion at DePaul develops broad cultural literacy and intellectual skills in the critical analysis of history, anthropology, literature, philosophy, sociology, theology, the visual arts, psychology, and gender studies. In this way, a religious studies major or minor is positioned to pursue a wide variety of careers, as well as to become a bridge between the specialist's perspectives on religion and the wider world that is often in need of these perspectives. In addition to academic careers, religious studies majors have worked in the fields of law, social work, regional and international business, governmental and non-governmental service, secondary school teaching, and service in religious communities.
Religious Studies at DePaul expresses the university's distinct identity, which respects engaged pluralistic inquiry in all religious issues and traditions. The department is committed to DePaul's Catholic, Vincentian and urban heritage, mission, and identity, and to its goal of establishing the university as a model of diversity. The department's course offerings reflect the diversity of the city of Chicago and of the students who attend DePaul. In the Department of Religious Studies, students can not only study multiple religious traditions, but also explore a range of topics and questions related to these traditions in various parts of the world. Because of the interdisciplinary character of our department, and of the field in general, students can approach these traditions and questions from multiple methodological and disciplinary perspectives. The study of religion includes not only the traditional areas of sacred texts, myths, rituals, and doctrines, but also the ways in which political, social and economic forces shape these phenomena for religious communities.