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Religious Studies

What is Religous Studies?

Learn about the diversity of the world’s religions and grapple with the spiritual dimensions of the human condition. As in philosophy, religious studies will let you discover the human search for meaning in different cultures and societies.

Religious Studies at Augustana

Through our program you'll gain religious literacy, which will help you develop insight into the fundamental ideas and values of other people. Taking religious studies will help you communicate effectively—both within and outside of your own culture. You'll also develop reasoning abilities and build problem-solving skills.

Program Information

Religious Studies is available as a:

Academic Innovations

All programs at Augustana include a wide-ranging liberal arts Core, taught within our unique “3-11” calendar

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The deep insight you gain about how the world operates with an undergraduate degree from Augustana lends itself well to careers in:

  • International work
  • Theologian
  • Non-governmental organization (NGO) worker
  • Public Policy Maker

Religous Studies AlumnA

A photo of Hyun-Joo Lim in front of Founders' Hall
Hyun-Joo (Lina) Lim
Dental Student

Lina’s favourite part about studying philosophy and religion was that it was different from the natural sciences-based studies she did in high school. “I love that I'm not just learning content, but exploring and developing a way to think.”

Course Highlights

208 - Jesus of Nazareth

Introduction to religious studies through an examination of contemporary theological interpretations of one central figure, Jesus of Nazareth.


250 - Theories of Religion

An introduction to the concept of religion, through studying and reflecting critically upon the work of prominent and influential thinkers from the fields of anthropology, psychology, sociology and contemporary religious studies. Coursework focuses upon the challenge of defining religion as a human phenomenon, and comparing and evaluating different approaches to understanding it as such.


259 - Bioethics, Suffering, Soul

This course surveys the varied approaches to healing and experiences of sickness in modern life. It does so by investigating health, healing, and religion philosophically (in the way we think about ourselves), culturally (in the way we live), and existentially (in the way we experience our lives). Much of our discussion focuses on medicine, identity, and ethics primarily because a central factor that orients discussions about each is suffering. How we relieve, come to terms with, and act out our suffering have become the predominant features of modern life in western culture. Specific themes covered are the interconnections among dependence, suffering and identity; and the significance of religion for therapy and palliative care.


266 - India Tour

Three-week study tour of India that focuses on a chosen region of India in order to examine the intersection between religious belief and practice and development challenges. Students will be exposed to various development projects as well as an array of religious sites. It is expected that students will gain an in depth understanding of India, its cultural and religious diversity, and the challenges it faces in the 21st century. Students will be exposed to both rural and urban life.


325 - Sex + Gender in Ancient Religions

An examination of religious texts and artifacts from the ancient world (e.g. biblical texts, Mesopotamian myths, iconography on statuary, reliefs, etc.), with a specific focus on representations of sex and gender. The course will introduce contemporary issues in gender theory to use as a lens for examining material from the ancient world, with the goal of better understanding various human beliefs and practices in relation to sexuality, the body and construction of gender.


More courses in the Course Catalogue.


Portrait of Craig Wentland, MDiv.

Craig Wentland, M.Div.

Craig Wentland teaches Religious Studies courses in the area of biblical studies and Christian theology. He is also the Augustana Chaplain and provides pastoral care.

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Portrait of Joseph Wiebe, PhD

Joseph Wiebe, PhD

Joseph Wiebe teaches introductory courses in Religious Studies, Religion and Ecology, and Ethics.

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Portrait of Ian Wilson, PhD

Ian Wilson, PhD

Ian D. Wilson teaches introductory courses on the religions of the world, theories of religion, and cultures of the ancient Near East.

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