About the Religion Programme | Mātai Wairuataka

Alok Verma on Unsplash 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 global news headlines.

Today's world requires people who can think clearly and creatively about religion's shifting role in political, economic and social life. An appreciation of the diverse religions and spiritualities that shape our world is essential for understanding human society and identity.

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 historical, social and psychological factors 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.

Contact us:

Office: Richardson 6C10

Email Address: Religion Programme

Tel: +64 3 479 5076


Religion Programme, University of Otago

PO Box 56

Dunedin 9054

New Zealand

University of Otago Religious Studies Programme