The UNC Department of Religious Studies is dedicated to the study of religions as historical and cultural phenomena. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding religious traditions from around the world: their history, sacred texts, beliefs, rituals, and institutions.
Ancient Mediterranean Religions includes the fields of Ancient Near East, Hebrew Scriptures, early and rabbinic Judaism, Greco-Roman religions, New Testament, early Christianity, and archaeology. In particular this field emphasizes the interaction among ancient Near Eastern, Hebrew, and Greek civilizations in the period prior to the conquests of Alexander the Great, and the interaction of Judaism, Christianity, and other Greco-Roman religions from Alexander to Constantine.
The field of Islamic Studies takes a global, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach to the study of Islamic religion and Muslim cultures. Utilizing literary, historical, sociological, anthropological, and other critical approaches, students explore a broad array of Islamic religious traditions, both elite and popular.
The program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is designed to encourage broad understanding of the history of one or more of the major Eurasian religious traditions from their formative periods through the nineteenth century and mastery of a specific area of specialization within that range.
Religion and Culture focuses on the critical study of culture with specific attention to the position of religion within modernity. The theoretical basis of Religion and Culture is informed not only by the Western philosophical tradition but also by a broader range of intellectual traditions, incorporating the perspectives of ethnography, critical theory, and contemporary cultural criticism.
The field of Religion in the Americas emphasizes the multiplicity of religious traditions in the Americas and explores the links between religion and other aspects of American culture from the precolonial era to the present. Special features of the program at UNC include its close affiliations with related disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and the freedom it allows in the selection of sources and methods for the study of American religion.
Students in this field of specialization focus on Asian traditions in their social, cultural, and historical environments and contexts of exchange. Participants in this concentration use a variety of methodologies to explore specific questions and themes (including gender, diaspora, personhood and identity, place and pilgrimage, religion and the state, transnationalism/globalization, and religious modernity).
The Department of Religious Studies • CB# 3225 • 125 Saunders Hall • UNC-CH • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3225
phone: (919) 962-5666 • fax: (919) 962-1567 • email: email@example.com
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