• Religion

    Religion plays a central role in human experience by providing a standpoint from which to discern meaning at a personal, social, and cosmic level. The religious studies program seeks to engage the student in a rigorous examination of the various forms that religion has taken and the particular standpoints they have produced. That examination includes the cultural, historical, systematic, and contemporary significance of religious texts, beliefs, and practices for the self-understanding of communities and individuals, and its embodiment in ritual and moral action.

    People study religion to satisfy both personal and professional needs. The department’s curriculum enables students to explore their own traditions and those of others on campus, in American society, and around the world; and it allows students to study in depth a particular area, such as the Bible, or tradition, such as the African-American church. Students often discover significant connections between another field—literature, anthropology, or philosophy, for example—and the study of religion. As with other liberal arts disciplines, and especially those in the humanities, the study of religion enables students to develop skills in research, problem solving, close reading of texts, critical and philosophical thinking, and interdisciplinary perspectives on human behavior and societies. Religion majors and minors may go on to seminary in preparation for religious work or on to other graduate schools in such fields as law, medicine, psychology, or the academic study of religion. Some go directly into K-12 teaching, into the business world, or into the nonprofit service sector.

    Of course, many nonmajors/minors also take religion courses, relatively few of which have prerequisites.

    Who We Are and What We Stand For

    Hamline's Department of Religion is made up of scholar-practitioners who seek to model the positive relation we see between the academic study of religion and the practice of it. As a church -related university, we strongly affirm the United Methodist emphasis on ecumenical openness to other faiths, and we embrace the global scope of the Hamline mission to prepare compassionate citizens of the world. We interpret our church affiliation as a charter of hospitality. While predominantly Christian, the department welcomes students of different religions and students of no religion, inviting all to deepen their understanding of their own values and commitments and to investigate other faiths with respect for their particular wisdom and intrinsic worth.

  • News

    Adjunct faculty member Silas Morgan was one of the Christian theologians asked to give their opinion about Senator Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing for Sojourners Magazine. The publication sits at the intersection of faith, politics, and culture. 

    Religion professor Mark Berkson gave a lecture on Sunday, December 4 at Gloria Dei Church. The lecture was titled Understanding Islam and Our Muslim Neighbors.

    Thompson presented her paper Lutheran Subjectivity, Foucault's Alethurgy, and the Global Refugee Crisis at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion on Sunday, November 20 in San Antonio.