Using religion as a way of interpreting the world and thinking about every aspect of life, from material culture to what’s up on the screen in front of you … I think that’s what really gets at people where they live and is part of what I absolutely love about our department and my students.
In religious studies, we have something that I would call more generally the material and affective turn. We want to get more at the texture of everyday life, at objects, at sounds, at senses. What we call the religious sensorium. – Dr. Jodi Eichler-Levine, Associate Professor, Berman Professor of Jewish Civilization
(Religious Studies) provides knowledge of how issues connected to theory and method work, not only for the study of religion, but for the social sciences and the humanities in general. – Dr. Christopher Driscoll, Assistant Professor
As part of the humanities, we take great pride in dealing with text, but also with context.
To look at living communities as they’re experienced on the ground and getting students to go out into those communities, to meet people, and to observe, perhaps to participate… We study how people live their faith and sometimes the gap between what ought to be of text and what is, the lived reality of religion as it is on the ground in everyday experience. – Dr. Robert Rozehnal, Associate Professor South Asian Religions, Director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies
Majoring in religious studies gives students a chance to explore through many different methodologies, many different religious traditions, how people construct conceptions of themselves, and how identities are built.
Whether that means then going on to medical school, to law school, or to careers in many different fields, it is a tremendous asset to be able to say that you have control over this particular type of identity construction. –Dr. Hartley Lachter, Associate Professor and Chair, Director of the Berman Center for Jewish Studies
Religion affects the way that human beings interact, the way that they are motivated to behave, people in their interactions with other people – with their neighbors, with their fellow students – religious behavior affects our motivations, the way we think, the way we organize ourselves as human beings into social groups.
We study all those things in the department of religion studies. We have things that one does with religion, if we want to ask that question, are multiple and one of the important things, at least how I see it, is when we talk about human behavior and the way that human beings act, we teach students how to be flexible and critical in their thinking and how to interact with the world around them… –Dr. Benjamin Wright, University Distinguished Professor
Recently, we’ve had this emphasis at Lehigh on globalization, on being more cognizant of different cultures and different parts of the world.
I think religion is a wonderful lens into that, into a certain kind of thinking about the rest of the world and about ourselves. It allows us to study people, how they make meaning in their lives and express those meanings in such forms as art, architecture, poetry, and literature. All of those things are fundamentally important to our place in the world as world citizens, as living in a world that is rapidly globalizing and interconnected. –Dr. Khurram Hussain, Assistant Professor
Future employers want a person who can come out of a university education and can interact with the world, can make decisions, can critically sort through problems. …And those are the kinds of things that we do within the academic study of religion, with religion as our specific focus. –Dr. Benjamin Wright, University Distinguished Professor
No matter if you find yourself interested in the sciences, technology, marketing, sociology, or in mathematics, for example, there is something about having a bigger picture about the world that is a necessitated in certain occupations and careers.
I would go as far to say (this is true) throughout a lot of careers. An example might be, if you’re a business student and you do your work globally around the world, you’re going to have to have an understanding about culture. You’re going to make business deals, you’re going to be involving yourself with transactions with cultures that might be unlike yours back at home. Our courses offer students a really interesting, yet focused, intersectional and interdisciplinary way to think about religion as a social category, as a cultural category, as a historical phenomenon, but also as way to more philosophically or existentially make meaning. –Dr. Monica Miller, Associate Professor of Religion, Associate Professor Africana Studies, Director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies