Comparative Religion is an expansive, cultural exploration of the world’s religions.
TRENDING WORLDWIDE FOR MILLENNIA
If you want to understand our world, study a global phenomenon. Religion is arguably the original global cultural phenomenon and studies show the percentage of affiliation with the world’s four largest religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism—has increased in the last century.
We look at religions in three ways. First we compare religions and look for similarities and distinctions. We look deeply into the history of each tradition to see how it developed. And we look broadly at ethics—what do people consider to be good decisions and why?
We travel across the globe to places such as Egypt, India, Israel and Italy on Drew International Seminars (DIS) and semester-long programs to see firsthand how others view the world, and to understand our relationship to their views.
We also travel our own region—New Jersey and New York—to visit mosques, temples, synagogues, churches, museums and other religious and cultural institutions to understand communities and experience religiously inspired art. Experience enriches, no matter what.
Careers Made easy
Our majors graduate with skills highly sought after in today’s job market. In a 2010 national survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, employers said they wanted a college education to emphasize knowledge of global issues (67%) and ethical decision-making (75%).
Students intern at a wide variety of institutions, from the Asia Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to the American Medical Association Ethics Group in Chicago.
Professions that address a diverse population (such as medicine, education, public policy, law, marketing) and global professions (such as international relations, diplomacy, journalism, the arts and thousands of international businesses) are excellent places for our majors to apply their expertise.
My major gave me the opportunity to study different fields because there is such a multidisciplinary approach. I’ve studied anthropology, political science, Arabic, Middle East studies and conflict resolution.
The way we learn about religions at Drew is both academic and experiential. We took field trips, for example, to the sacred spaces of five major religions. It has definitely expanded my ideas about other cultures and made me care more about the world as a whole.
Falling in love with religious studies opened up a lot of options I didn’t know I had. I studied in Rome for three weeks, and the paper I wrote for my Dante class was published in The Drew Review, the undergraduate peer review research journal.
My research focuses on religious conflict and terrorism, world archaeology, Jewish diaspora communities, ethnography of the Middle East and Latin America and human evolution, with a special focus on the interface between science and religion. I also find time now and then to bring out my guitar.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
NEH Distinguished Professor of Humanities & chair
I am working on a labor of love, editing a textbook initiated by a late beloved colleague that I and others are bringing to fruition in his honor. I’ve also directed three Drew International Seminars to India—all remembered with fondness and inspiration.
Ph.D., University of Chicago
I’d say I’m very funny, though I once had a student tell me, “You’re not as funny as you think you are.” As for my work, I’m writing a book on the First Crusade and papal preaching.
Ph.D., Fordham University
My primary areas of specialization are religious engagement with politics, business and medicine. My work has appeared in The Journal of Religious Ethics, Pro Ecclesia, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy and First Things.
Ph.D., University of Virginia
I have lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East and have directed 15 Drew International Seminars in Egypt, Israel and Yemen. As a certified scuba instructor, I’ve also been known to take students diving in the Red Sea.
Ph.D., Princeton University
I’m working on a new book about the history of heretics, their books and their excommunications, from Spinoza to Rav Kook, Mordecai Kaplan to the “Zoo Rabbi.” I’m also an ordained rabbi, and served synagogues in Boston and Montreal.
Ph.D., Harvard University
- Master’s degree candidate in religion, literature and culture
Harvard Divinity School
- Director of operations, George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project
- Owner of Dolma, a fair trade company
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“Our professor was awesome, hilarious and incredibly involved. She made things really accessible. I learned more new stuff than I had in any other class, especially a lot about Buddhism and Hinduism.”
Rachel Schachter on Religions of India