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Religion matters more than ever today, inspiring individuals both to make peace and to commit unspeakable violence. It transforms cultures and societies and is transformed by them. The Department of Religion at BU explores religion in its many manifestations, offering undergraduate students opportunities for broad-based study of religious traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and the religions of Africa, China, and Japan; related literatures; and theoretical and philosophical problems in the study of religion. The department’s Division of Religious & Theological Studies offers MA and PhD programs in twelve areas of specialization in three subject areas: Religious Texts and Traditions; Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics; and Religion, Culture, and Society.


Department chair: David Frankfurter
Campus address: 145 Bay State Road
Phone: 617-353-2635
Fax: 617-358-3087

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  • Something bigger than Girard 

    Klawans, Jonathan (2016-10-27)
    René Girard’s works on religion and violence remain important, above all, for having called attention to the question of religious violence well before the significance of this problem seemed obvious. Despite Girard’s ...
  • The pseudo-Jewishness of Pseudo-Phocylides 

    Klawans, Jonathan (2017-03)
    For over 150 years, The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides has been considered a Jewish work, though scholars have struggled to identify its purpose. This article revisits the question on definitional, evidentiary, and even ...
  • The Essene Hypothesis: Insights from Religion 101 

    Klawans, Jonathan (2016-03-31)
    General insights from the discipline of religious studies may contribute to a better understanding of the Essene Hypothesis. In its “softer” form, the Essene hypothesis posits a sub-group relationship between the Qumran ...
  • A Jihad for justice : honoring the work and life of Amina Wadud 

    Ali, Kecia; Hammer, Juliane; Silvers, Laury (2012)