Religious Studies

What is Religious Studies?

Religious Studies is the critical study of religion: its history, its ideas and principles, and its function in societies past and present. It is distinct from theology or faith-based studies. We ask: What is religion? What is it for? How does it function in the world? What does it do for its practitioners? How do religious traditions approach and try to solve fundamental issues regarding good and evil, human nature, ethics and morality, and how to live a good life?

Why Study Religious Studies at UAlberta?

Our top-ranked program (top 9% world-wide in 2016-17 QS University Rankings) equips students with unique tools to make sense of religion in our world. Our dynamic teacher-researchers work at the forefront of their fields and bring that expertise to the classroom.

Experience Beyond the Classroom

Smaller classes offering individual attention from instructors are the hallmarks of our program. Students can focus tightly or build a very broad multi-disciplinary course of studies. Some of our classes include visiting speakers or visits to religious sites in the Edmonton area.


  • Sub-disciplines within Religious Studies

    Buddhist Studies - the history, teachings and practices of Buddhists across cultures, including in Asia and in the modern West.

    Hindu Studies - the history, teachings and practices of Hindus, in their South Asian context and in the contemporary world.

    Jewish Studies - the history, teachings and practices of Jews, including courses on the Hebrew Bible and on Judaism in today's world.

    Christian Studies - the history, teachings and practices of Christians, in European and non-European contexts.

    Islamic Studies - : the history, teachings and practices of Muslims, including courses on the Qur'an and Islamic law.

    Method and Theory for the Study of Religion - anthropology, history and sociology of religion; feminist approaches to religion.

  • What can I do with a Religious Studies degree?
    A degree in Religious Studies is excellent training for students considering careers in law, social work, public policy, non-governmental organization (NGO's), international organizations, national security and security consulting, academia and business.

If you're interested in Religious Studies, you might also be interested in...

Anthropology Art & Design

Classics East Asian Studies

English Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Native Studies Political Science

Psychology Sociology

History Women's and Gender Studies

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