The Department of Religion at Rice University is a collaborative intellectual community of faculty and students, boasting a premier research program of international reach and reputation. By recruiting scholars who are leaders in their fields and educating and training students with intellectual curiosity and promise, the department generates and maintains a vibrant intellectual community. We work together to advance knowledge and research in the academic study of religion befitting Rice’s status as a world-class research university.
The faculty of the Department are dedicated to the academic study of religion which focuses on describing and analyzing all forms of religion and religious behavior — including ancient and modern Judaism and Christianity, classical Buddhism and Islam, colonial and modern Hinduism, contemporary African and African-American religions, and American religions from the Protestant churches to the New Age—with a wide variety of philosophical, historical, social-scientific, theological, and literary methods. With the aim of equipping students to become global citizens and generating critical understandings of religion among the wider public community, the department encourages the quest for answers that expose and overcome religious intolerance, challenge religious stereotypes, and address fears that sometimes lead to hostility and violence.