Studying Religion at Columbia University: Courtney BenderStudying Religion at Columbia University: Elizabeth Kipp-GiustiStudying Religion at Columbia University: Mark Hay

Why Study Religion?

Religion has been and remains one of the most powerful forces shaping human history, culture, and intellectual life. Religions are shaped within, and have contributed essentially to the arts, philosophy, law and politics; the historically developed boundaries and interactions between religion and other parts of human life continue to change and dynamically shape the societies in which we live.

The Department of Religion is committed to the rigorous exploration of the growth and development of religious traditions, their historical and contemporary influence in shaping cultures and societies, and their wide-ranging roles in shaping changing global contexts. Students learn approaches with which they can understand the dynamics through which religion and religions influence society in far-reaching and far-ranging ways, from the most intimate relations of religion and the body to the most fraught relations in geo-political conflicts past and present.   

Why the Department of Religion?

The Department teaches interdisciplinary as well as multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of religion, and its faculty cultivate the critical examination of and disciplined reflection on the religious dimensions of cultures, societies, and individuals. Religious studies majors graduating from Columbia command an impressive range of knowledge about Western and non-Western cultures and traditions, and exhibit great ability to analyze and interpret texts, social life, and cultures. Recent graduates are pursuing careers in documentary film, law, medicine, the philosophy of science (graduate school), public policy, and teaching.

Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Courtney Bender 

80 Claremont Avenue 

NewYork, NY 10027