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Center for the Study of Religion


Robert J. Wuthnow

Executive Committee

Wallace D. Best, Religion, African American Studies

João G. Biehl, Anthropology

Thomas J. Espenshade, Sociology

Simon E. Gikandi, English

Amaney A. Jamal, Politics

Kevin M. Kruse, History

Valerie A. Smith, English, African American Studies

Stephen F. Teiser, Religion

Christian Wildberg, Classics

Robert J. Wuthnow, Sociology

Associated Faculty

Leora F. Batnitzky, Religion

John W. Borneman, Anthropology

D. Graham Burnett, History

Michael W. Cadden, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

Rafaela Dancygier, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Religion, African American Studies

Anthony T. Grafton, History

Eric S. Gregory, Religion

Melissa V. Harris-Lacewell, Politics, African American Studies

Mirjam Künkler, Near Eastern Studies

Susan Naquin, History, East Asian Studies

Elaine H. Pagels, Religion

Sara S. Poor, German

Carolyn M. Rouse, Anthropology, African American Studies

Peter Schäfer, Religion, Judaic Studies

Esther H. Schor, English

Nigel Smith, English

Jeffrey L. Stout, Religion

Judith L. Weisenfeld, Religion

Muhammad Q. Zaman, Near Eastern Studies, Religion

Sits with Committee

Katherine T. Rohrer, Office of the Provost

The Center for the Study of Religion facilitates intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary study of religion among students and faculty. The center is especially interested in encouraging scholarship that examines religion or aspects of religion comparatively and in its diverse historical and contemporary manifestations through the lenses of the various humanities and social science disciplines. It supplements the curriculum of the Department of Religion by drawing students and faculty together from other departments and by fostering studies in which religion or the consequences of religion may be one of several components under investigation. One of the center's activities is to cosponsor freshman seminars and other occasional undergraduate courses. The center also offers two interdisciplinary seminars, Religion and Culture and Religion and Public Life, that are open to upper-level undergraduates with permission of the instructor. The center was founded in recognition of the fact that Princeton University includes among its faculty a number of uniquely qualified specialists throughout an exceptionally wide range of disciplines. It draws to students' attention the fact that more than 50 courses dealing with the historical development of religious traditions and their role in current affairs are regularly offered under the auspices of more than a dozen departments and programs.

The Center for the Study of Religion provides resources to faculty members throughout the University who may be interested in developing new courses or research interests. The center sponsors freshman seminars, lecture courses, and advanced seminars on topics significantly concerned with the study of religion. In addition, the center supports faculty who wish to plan interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, or guest-speaker series focusing on topics related to religion such as ethics and biotechnology, Buddhist death practices, religion and sexuality, poverty and charity, religion and film, religion and neuroscience, and mysticism and modernity. These and other center-sponsored public lectures and conferences promote greater discussion about understanding of religion in higher education and in the wider society.

Through these various activities, students are encouraged to develop a better understanding of the interactions among religions and their social contexts and to pursue junior independent work and senior theses concerned with the ethical, social, and cultural contributions and implications of religion. The center has small amounts of funding available for juniors and seniors undertaking research projects in the study of religion. The center's staff, faculty, and associates are available for students seeking information about courses relevant to the study of religion in other departments and programs.

A list of undergraduate courses relevant to the interdisciplinary study of religion can be found on the center's website.