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The root concern of religion is the quest for the ultimate meaning of reality. How this Ultimate is understood structures and gives meaning to the human world. Religion is, as such, one of the most important pursuits of humankind, having a profound impact on human history through art, philosophy, politics, and the way societies and groups are organized and behave. The Religious Studies Program at Purdue University offers students the opportunity to investigate how the different religious traditions of the world seek and understand Ultimate Reality, how this understanding influences human action and belief about the world, and how historical contexts influence religious thought and practice. By learning about the different religious traditions of the world and their historical contexts, students will cultivate a critical appreciation of diverse religious traditions. Students will have the opportunity to conduct this study from the perspective of different departments at Purdue, such as English, History, Philosophy, and Sociology and Anthropology. Such an interdepartmental approach is designed to help students tailor the program to their special interests. Why study religion?
The Religious Studies faculty is composed of associated faculty in the departments of Anthropology, English, Languages and Cultures, History, Philosophy, and Sociology. The program currently has roughly 50 majors and minors. Faculty members are active with the American Academy of Religion. Please see the Summer 2012 Religious Studies Newsletter for a summary of just some of the activities and achievements of the program in 2011-2012.
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