Who We Are

At UNC Asheville, we study religion to explore and understand the many ways human beings have sought to answer questions of existence and meaning. We treat religion as an academic subject that intersects with many disciplines, including philosophy, history, classics, sociology, and others. The department doesn’t advocate for or against particular religious beliefs. Instead, we challenge students to examine how religious ideas and practices have developed, evolved, and influenced cultures around the world. Asheville offers a diversity of religious life, and our faculty and students also experience world religions firsthand through study abroad trips to Italy, Japan, Ghana, India, and more.

What You’ll Learn

Religious studies students investigate religious traditions throughout the world and how they’ve shaped our lives–through art, architecture, music, ideas, and even foods. Students read, analyze, and discuss significant texts by classical theorists such as Sigmund Freud, Mircea Eliade, and Karl Marx, and study topics like sacred space, myth and text, ritual, and morality. All students complete a major research project in their senior year, and because our curriculum builds critical thinking and communication skills, graduates find careers in a variety of fields, including business, social services, communications, the arts, politics, and religious-affiliated organizations.