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Praying During Revival Meeting
Praying During Revival Meeting
Pentecostal church, Cambria, Illinois, 1939. Photograph by Arthur Rothstein, FSA-OWI Collection, Library of Congress, Washington
Prayer Protest
Prayer Protest
Orangeburg Freedom Movement, Orangeburg, South Carolina, 1963.
The Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve; Expulsion from Paradise
The Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve; Expulsion from Paradise
Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1508-1512, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome
Angel of Grief
Angel of Grief
Valerio Sibio, 2008, Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Dogon Masking at the Dama, Mali
Dogon Masking at the Dama, Mali
Edward Parker, Dogon, in Millenium, ed. David Maybury-Lewis (New York: Penguin, 1992), 289.
Electric Chair Jesus
Electric Chair Jesus
Hindu Deity
Hindu Deity
Photograph by J. Daniel White.
White Crucifixion
White Crucifixion
Marc Chagall, 1939, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Spiderman Ganesh
Spiderman Ganesh
Lord Ganesh in Spiderman Incarnation, Hyderabad, India, 2007. Photograph by Jeff Simmermon
Breaking the Law
Breaking the Law
Women of the Wall praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem. Photo via Women of the Wall

Why Religious Studies Matters

Religious Studies courses are some of the most interesting in the university, and we strive together to bring the fascinating complexities of cultures to our students.  But why in the world do we need to study religion?  The American Academy of Religion has several thoughtful answers to that question.  Here's another:  Why The World Needs Religious Studies

Our undergraduates have their own perspectives:

Religious studies is not proselytizing or missionizing. Fascinating primary and secondary texts invite students into the various religious traditions, rituals, and practices which are integral to the lives of so many people around the world. If you want classes filled with lively debate, discovery, and discussion, Religious Studies is the place for you. 

Alexandria Clifton, RELS '11

I have been challenged to move beyond my own understanding of what religion is and how others experience it. Learning to think critically and thoughtfully about religious practices and beliefs has been well worth my time.  The study of religion at UNC Charlotte has also given me the necessary intellectual skills for engaging a world of diversity.

Josh Berryhill, RELS '11

And consider what Secretary of State John Kerry said last summer.  "In fact, if I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that's how integrated [religion] is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today."  (Remarks at the Launch of the Office of Faith-Based Initatives, August 7, 2013). 

If you are looking for a major or minor, religious studies allows for considerable flexibility.  Even if you have already chosen a major, Religious Studies courses might add a fascinating dimension to your education. You might like our courses so much you consider a second major!

Religious Studies graduates find the skills they acquire highly attractive in a variety of career areas. Our graduates regularly enter the fields of medicine, business, law, communications, public relations, international studies, education, and the helping professions.

Our mission is to foster critical understanding of the historical, cultural, and textual dimensions of religion in human societies and cultures. We especially recognize the integral role of religon in issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and power.