Religion Matters

Whatever you think of it, whether you are devoutly religious or are somewhere in-between, religion is a very big deal. It shapes the people we are and the communities we live in. It influences how we interact with our sexualities and the natural environment. While religion can fill our personal lives with meaning, it can also foster intolerance, ignorance, and even hatred and violence on a social level. It affects our sensibilities around ethnicity, class, and race; our attitudes about medicine, contraception, and the end of life; and our approaches to poverty, immigration, social justice, and war. Religion is everywhere. Religion matters.

Welcome from the Chair

Elias Bongmba
Elias Bongmba, Harry & Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology;
Professor of Religion; Department Chair, Religion

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Religion and our graduate program in Religion. In keeping with Rice University’s open doors and the university’s current banner campaign, let me say in IsiZulu, Siyanamkela.

We are delighted to welcome you to the global quest for excellence in the studies of religion animated by and grounded in critical research in the different areas of our concentrations. We deploy a methodological pluralism to rethink major paradigms and ask new questions on the major religious traditions and lesser-known traditions of the world. Read more >