Religion – western, eastern and otherwise – is a vast cluster of cultural phenomena (including sacred texts, mythologies and theologies, moral codes, and every conceivable kind of ritual) that is best explored from the perspective of more than one discipline.

Union College's major in religious studies is designed to help students gather insights from anthropology, art, philosophy, history, literature, political science, psychology, sociology and other disciplines as they seek to understand this complicated area of human behavior. This academic inquiry lies outside the framework of any particular belief system.

Areas of concentration are offered in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Asian Religions, Ancient Mediterranean Religions, and Religion, Culture and Society. 


Among the courses you might find intriguing, for instance, are: Yiddish Literature in Translation, the Holocaust, From Chant to Mozart, Global Christianities, Islamic Art and Architecture, Women and Politics in the Muslim World, Tibetan Art, From Bombs to Buddhism, Religion in the Pagan World and Ancient World Mythology.

As a religious studies major, you will become well-versed in the textual, philosophical, scientific and historical methodologies used in this field. The program offers a major, an interdepartmental major and a minor.

Small classes, independent study and personal interaction with distinguished professors who are scholars and teachers are characteristic of our program.


The broad-based liberal arts education and skills that you will acquire as a religious studies major will prepare you for any number of careers, including law, medicine, education, business, social work and the ministry, as well as the sciences and engineering.