What is ultimate truth? Woven tightly into the world’s history is humanity’s hunt for meaning, the search for answers expressed through religious traditions as diverse as humans themselves.

You’ll expand your understanding of the human experience by exploring the powerful cultural and historical influence of global religions. Deepen your critical thinking skills as you analyze, understand, and discuss primary sacred texts, traditions, rituals, writings, and more.

Discover coursework in religious studies.

Lawrence offers both a major and minor in religious studies.

Learn more about the religious studies faculty.

Skyline image of mountains in Nepal

Experience religion through travel


Widen your cross-cultural understanding of religious expression through opportunities to visit regional religious communities and international sites in places like Nepal and Senegal.

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Connect the dots of human faith and culture with self-directed research


Delve deep into your particular interest within religious studies with independent research.

The Chandler Senior Experience

The Department of Religious Studies’ Senior Experience is a one-term senior seminar (usually taught in the Spring Term) that examines approaches to the study of religion selected from a school of thought or a more eclectic group of authors. Seniors will participate in an informal departmental colloquium, in which your work is presented and discussed by majors, minors, and faculty.

If you are pursuing double majors, double degrees, and education certification, we encourage you to consult with your advisors and relevant department plans to negotiate your overall Senior Experience as early as possible, especially if you're interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary capstone that integrates your majors or student teaching project.

Recent Senior Experience projects include:

  • I Love You God (P.S. We’re Breaking Up): How Emerging Adults are Navigating Religious Ambiguity Through Taizé
  • What Is the Meaning of Life?  An Examination of the Nature and Ramifications of the Pursuit of the Meaning of Life
  • The “Pure” Gods: The History of the Far-Right’s Longstanding Love Affair with Norse Neopaganism

 

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student in Introduction to Religious Studies class

Religious Studies Outcomes

Studying the rich world of faith creates a solid foundation for a variety of advanced study and career paths.

On Any Given Day...

...discover an array of opportunities that await you at Lawrence University.

Academics

Unbagging First-Year Studies

Martyn Smith, director of First-Year Studies, unbags the 10 works being used in First-Year Studies during the 2021-2022 academic year.

open bible with finger pointing to line on the page
Course

This discussion-based course examines the role of comics and sequential art in religious traditions and explores religious themes in contemporary comics and graphic novels. By analyzing comics and related scholarship in the emerging field of comics studies, students will investigate the complex relationships between religion, images and culture.

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