Chairperson: Thomas Donlin-Smith, Ph.D. Professors: Dempsey, Ph.D., Donlin-Smith, Ph.D., Nowak, Ph.D., and Shafiq, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor: Karna, Ph.D.; Lecturers: Gaye, Ph.D., Heyman, Ph.D., Katz, M.A., Prescott, M.A., and Schwab, Ph.D.
The religious studies department is a community of scholars who engage in the academic study of religion, educate one another about religion, and promote the public understanding of religion. Faculty members pursue their own specialized and constructive study of religion, direct the learning of students, and contribute to the broad civic conversation about religion. Student members of the department follow a rigorous major program of study in order to become proficient in the field of religious studies, or complete a minor program in religious studies in order to complement a major in some other field, or take a limited number of courses in specific areas of personal interest.
The department understands its subject matter to be the religious traditions of the world and regards religion as a vital, experiential dimension of human culture to be appreciated in its many expressions and various social-historical
contexts. The department holds that the study of religion is properly interdisciplinary and comparative and employs a host of methodological approaches.
Department faculty members are citizens of the whole College, participating in college-wide committees, administering interdisciplinary programs, and teaching courses outside the religious studies department. The department contributes to the wider educational mission of the College-expressed in its pursuit of intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and aesthetic values-by providing courses for the liberal arts core curriculum as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.