Skip Navigation

Religious Studies

On Thursday September 26, at 4:30 pm in Bizzell Library's Community Room (LL 118 on lower level 1), Dr. Patton Burchett will present a lecture on Islam, Tantra, and the Rise of Hindu Devotion,  drawn from his book, A Genealogy of Devotion:  Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India.  Dr. Burchett is an Assistant Professor at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  In India today, the tradition of Tantra is commonly dismissed or feared as black magic and sinister trickery, while the tradition of Bhakti, or devotional Hinduism, constitutes arguably the primary dimension of mainstream Hindu religiosity.  When we look back to India's medieval age, however, it is clear that Tantra was, in fact, nothing if not mainstream.  How did Tantra come to be widely viewed as disreputable "magic" and bhakti devotionalism as proper religion in modern-day India?  While most have assumed this was a result of colonial and orientaist influences, this talk will show that there are clear indigenous origins for these present-day India attitudes. 



Skip Side Navigation


By examining human activity through religion, both in the present and the past, students gain not only a deeper understanding of their own experience with religion, but how much religion is shaped by human experience.  The study of religion also expands the ability to think critically and imaginatively.

Please explore this website to learn more about religious studies and the Religious Studies Department at OU.  Our faculty offer courses in four specializations leading to a BA degree, and we offer an inviting, welcoming, and rigorous scholarly community.  Welcome!

What is Religious Studies?

·      Interdisciplinary, flexible, academic exploration of a variety of religious traditions and varying approaches to the study of religion

·      A thriving academic department, a Bachelor of Arts major; courses for the degree come from 30 faculty in 15 different departments and programs on campus

·      Specialties and concentrations are available in Islamic studies, Asian studies, Christian studies, and Biblical literature, but breadth is also encouraged.


Why Religious Studies?

·      Because the curriculum is flexible, you can shape your own degree plan.  Good degree planning will allow you to focus on a specific religious tradition, many traditions, or a more comparative approach.

·      By adding a religious studies double major or minor, you can make your current degree stronger and equip yourself with the skills needed to participate in the global community of the 21st century.

·      The relationship of religion to societal, cultural, and political activity means that the study of religion informs the understanding of all human activity.