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About the Department of Religious Studies

Various images from world religionsThe UT Department of Religious Studies offers a nationally recognized academic program dedicated to the historical and critical analysis of religion, which recognizes religion as a crucial element of history, culture, and politics—both at home and around the world. Our multidisciplinary, multicultural approach includes a wide variety of the world's religious traditions, and our methods equip students with the skills to analyze and understand the complex relationships among religion, culture, and society. Religious studies majors have used their training as a basis for careers in research, teaching, law, government, social and humanitarian work, religious service, world business, and the media.

Our vision is to be one of the top ten public university undergraduate programs in the country for the critical, comparative, and cross-cultural study of religion. We seek to do this by:

  • Providing a high-quality program for the academic and non-confessional study of religion(s) in the state of Tennessee;
  • Attracting some of UT's most talented students and equipping them for the best graduate programs or for professional careers;
  • Preparing students to be knowledgeable and critically engaged citizens of the global community;
  • Supporting faculty research, teaching, and professional activities that achieve national and international distinction;
  • Engaging in innovative collaborative research and teaching, both at the University of Tennessee and beyond;
  • Taking recognized leadership in promoting intercultural and international learning, both on and off campus;
  • Playing an exemplary role in promoting the University's mission to encourage civility, respect diversity, and foster civic responsibility;
  • Sustaining an environment of intellectual freedom, equal opportunity, and affirmative action for faculty, staff, and students.

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