Department of Religion


The study of religion at UVM is a vital part of the wider study of human cultures, global affairs, and personal identities. The department's secular approach invites students to engage the study of religion free of ties to religious training or affiliation. Department faculty, trained in the humanities and social sciences, bring a uniquely transdisciplinary and integrative approach to their teaching. The department curriculum explores a wide array of specific historical traditions, including African and African diasporic religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and religions in North America, as well as broader religious dynamics shaped by ritual, race, gender, aesthetics, media, politics, and popular culture. Through their study of religion, students come to understand the complexity of religious communities in specific times and places and to appreciate diversity within particular religious communities. Students also gain an enhanced understanding of cultural diversity through the study of a variety of worldviews and behaviors and explore international and historical perspectives that provide the necessary context for understanding their own culture.

Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies examines Judaism not only as a religion but as a civilization with deep roots, as well as a culture encompassing a rich tradition in language, literature, philosophy and religion, customs and ritual, art, music and film. Jewish Studies is by its nature interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, so UVM offers courses from religion, history, classics, literature (English, French, German, and Italian), Hebrew, sociology, and theater.