This area of focus centers on the relationships between ethics, philosophy, and political theory within the broader field of the study of religion. Emphasis is placed on the examination of philosophical, theological, ethical, and political perspectives on (and accounts of) religion, whether understood as social and cultural artifact or system of literature and thought. Particular foci could include the place of religion in culture, the formation and contours of religious identity, religion and law, religion and nature, comparative religious ethics, and philosophical and theoretical problems in religion. Work in this area is intrinsically interdisciplinary, and seeks to integrate and reconfigure traditional approaches to its range of subject matter. You are expected to develop specific areas of historical and theoretical expertise that are informed by the range of contemporary approaches to the study of religion.
Ethics, Philosophy, and Politics in the Study of Religion
Special admissions requirements
Establishing proficiency in at least one foreign language prior to admission is strongly recommended. Normally this would be French or German.
Sample exam structure
A series of written exams over two weeks totaling 12 hours, followed by an oral exam. Typically these exams will include four units: one unit will be a field exam broadly covering ethics, philosophy, and politics in the study of religion; one unit each on two areas of concentration; and one unit that furthers individual students’ planned dissertation research.