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What is Religious Studies?

Very few things have the impact on human culture that religion does. Our values, our understanding of ourselves as individuals, our understanding of society, our view of nature, even our definition of truth, stem from concepts originally fostered in a religious environment.

Religious Studies is the exploration of the expression of religion in human culture. It explores human ideas about the divine, as well as the way religious concepts are expressed in texts, rituals, and belief systems. It studies the history of religion as well as important religious figures. It analyses the influence of religion on other aspects of culture, as well as the influence of culture on religion. As an academic discipline Religious Studies is not limited to a single tradition or religion; it encompasses all religions from all cultures and all times: it is global in scope and multicultural in tenor.

The Department of Religious Studies at MUN explores these questions in a non-confessional setting. This means that the "truth-value" of any religious outlook is not at issue. We do not ask whether a religion is right or wrong. Rather, we ask how and why a religion is meaningful to the people who practice it.  

 

News:

1. Text and Context Symposium

April 13-14, 2015 

The Department is pleased to welcome Dr. Richard Mann of Carleton University, as well as MUN faculty and graduate students for our third annual symposium. Please see the schedule of speakers here.

2. 2014-15 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to Dakotah Noseworthy, Greg Noseworthy, Heather Stern and Ashley Bradley.  Well done!

3. Proposed Summer School in Bordeaux, France

Dr. Jennifer Selby has begun promoting a summer field school in Bordeaux, France for July 2016. Please see this brochure for more information about the proposed courses, field visits and dates. 

4. 2013 and 2014 Books by Faculty

Dr. Lee Rainey published Decoding Dao: Reading the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi (Wiley-Blackwell).

Dr. Kim Parker published Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Linus Publications). 

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