Welcome to Religious Studies at LSU!
Religious Studies offers a wonderful entry into the study of human society and culture throughout the world. Put bluntly, religion affects every aspect of human existence—from interpersonal relationships to political ideologies; from art and architecture to literature and poetry; from the promotion of intolerance and violence to the fostering of social justice, charitable organizations, and widespread compassion. Religion makes human life what it is. The academic study of religion incorporates a variety of scholarly perspectives (those of history, philosophy, literature, anthropology, geography, sociology, psychology, and others) and comprises a truly interdisciplinary field where collaborative knowledge is generated.
Our degree program, established in 1980, is a terrific course of study on its own, but we especially encourage students to consider it as a second major. It can easily be combined with many degree programs here at LSU and will offer students a great complement to the study of Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, History, English, and more. In addition to the fascinating courses that you’ll take, there are quite a few practical benefits that come with majoring in Religious Studies. The size of our department means lots of one-on-one advising. Our students enjoy close relationships with professors and instructors, each of whom is devoted to making sure students make progress every semester toward a timely graduation. Majors in Religious Studies here at LSU gain a deep awareness of the world’s many religions and develop an effective skillset in research, writing, critical analysis, and problem-solving, empowering them to work in a wide variety of fields. Many of our alumni and alumnae have gone on to successful careers in the military, retail management, social work, production design, teaching, filmmaking, video game design, and photography, while others have pursued graduate work in law schools, medical schools, nursing programs, and of course seminaries and religious studies departments.
As a faculty, we study religious traditions across the world, from antiquity to the present. We bring a host of academic perspectives to bear on our research and teaching. Some of us are historians, who track the development of particular religions in different periods, while others are anthropologists, who focus on how people make sense of the world through ritual, belief, reading, and art. We are all experts in our areas of teaching and research, and collectively we have published numerous books and articles in scholarly journals. In addition to our scholarship, we are all devoted undergraduate teachers of religion. We offer broad surveys of world religions and the academic study of religion, as well as more focused courses on specific traditions or themes that cross religious boundaries. We hope that you’ll consider taking one (or several) of our courses!
You can find information on our current offerings here. If you’re interested in learning more about the major or simply chatting about religion, feel free to send an email to Mari Rethelyi, the Religious Studies section head (email@example.com).