About the Religion Programme | Tikaḵa Whakapono

Nyepi or the Balinese Day of Silence in Bali The academic study of religion has never been more important. From debates over trans rights, to violence and war, to conspiracy theories, and to popular culture, religion features daily in the headlines of the globe's newspapers. Today's world needs people who can think clearly and creatively about religion's shifting role in political, economic and social life—so much so that the U.S. government's chief foreign policy officer insists that, could he go back to college, he'd major in Religion.

In the Religion Programme at Otago, we use methods from psychology, history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology and politics to prepare students for thinking about religion as a human phenomenon—the product of the desires, questions and passions of our world's diverse cultures. Through undergraduate papers, postgraduate supervision and regular events we examine how religion shapes the world and how the world shapes religion. Our questions are comparative and critical: How do religious practices, beliefs and myths justify social order? What are the links between missionaries and colonial power? What is the history of encounter between Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians? What might account for the similarities as well as differences between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic conceptions of God?

Students who study religion apply their knowledge in variety of employment settings: from government, to education, to journalism, to business, to non-profit, to law.

Have a look at our range of papers and programmes on our website. Consider adding Religion as a major or minor to your degree.

University of Otago Religious Studies Programme