The goal of the Religious Studies Department is to provide students with an expansive, self-reflective, and critical understanding of the complexity of diverse religious traditions, engaging in a variety of approaches, methods, and theories.
About the Major
The Religious Studies Department offers students the opportunity to develop skills in critical and creative thinking, analysis, and research through the study of diverse religious traditions. Our courses explore the texts, objects, spaces, and lived experiences connected with religious traditions and cultures, as well as the art, films, and other forms of cultural expression that represent them.
Students Will Learn To:
- Examine different approaches to the academic study of religions
- Analyze diverse sets of evidence including both primary and secondary sources
- Critically analyze the category of “religion”
- Communicate clearly, coherently, and effectively
A Sampling of Courses
Religion and Media
Investigates the role of various media in shaping religious traditions especially Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Beginning with studies of orality and literacy, we move into the impact of the printing press, then electronic media including Internet and video games.
Explore these select courses:
Taking a broad, inter-disciplinary approach, students become familiar with issues facing contemporary American Indian communities. Confronted with unprecedented political, environmental, and cultural challenges, Indians continue to mobilize ancient values to effectively reimagine and reshape them for the contemporary context. Drawing from historiography, literary analysis, and knowledge of current Indigenous leaders, we examine how relationality, resilience, adaptability, and revitalization are informing Native-led social movements while also reconnecting American Indians to their spiritual foundations in times of turmoil and difficulty. Students will have opportunities to engage in discussions with Native spiritual and cultural leaders and will also present their own research projects.
Meet Our Faculty
Chair of Religious Studies, the Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Humanistic Studies
American religious history; religion in the American West; interreligious contact; religious experience of racial/ethnic and religious minorities; Native American and African American religious history; Mormonism; gender and religion
Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
cultural theory, comparative religion, Indigeneity, American Indian cultural traditions, federal Indian law, and environmental justice
Professor of Religious Studies
Baruch Spinoza, Moses Maimonides, neuroethics, and Jewish studies
S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate
Professor of Religious Studies, By Special Appointment
religion and media, religion and popular culture, comparative religions, blasphemy and controversial art, religious life in the U.S.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies
Explore Hamilton Stories
Learning by Experiencing the Mormon Faith
This semester I’m taking “Mormonism in America and the World” taught by Professor of Religious Studies Quincy Newell. I chose this class because I am interested in learning about a religion that is highly stigmatized and controversial. I was also intrigued by how the course explores the public perceptions of Mormonism and how they shape the religion.
Rodríguez-Plate Publishes Book Chapters
Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Rodríguez-Plate recently published contributions to two edited volumes.
Ravven on Voting as “Science and Ceremony”
Professor of Religious Studies Heidi Ravven recently discussed “Science and Ceremony” in an invited lecture at the European Society for Medicine Annual Congress in Vienna.
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in religious studies are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
- Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
- Brand Coordinator, Legendary Entertainment
- Upper School Dean of Students, American School of Madrid
- Rabbinical Student, Hebrew Union College
- Director of Development, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
- Gerontologist, Gateway Adult Center
- Director of Youth & Education Justice, Children’s Defense Fund-NY
- Clinical Social Worker, Morris Foundation
Religious Studies Department
Quincy Newell, Chair
Clinton, NY 13323