Department of Religious Studies

Though courses at The University of Alabama in the study of religion date as far back as 1932, the Department of Religious Studies (located on the second and third floors of historic Presidents Hall) was established in 1966 with the hire of PhDs trained in non-confessionally descriptive and cross-culturally comparative studies of religion. The department, which has quadrupled its number of tenured and tenure-track faculty since 2000, offers courses in a wide variety of areas, e.g., from ancient Greece to modern India, and from the text of the Hebrew Bible to Afro-Carribean diaspora literature, specializing also in using digital tool in humanities research. Apart from its MA degree, it supports an undergraduate major and minor, along with a minor in Judaic Studies. It is also the home of the director of UA's cross-disciplinary minor in Asian Studies.

Follow the link below to the Religious Studies department webpage, where you can learn more about the department and its programs as well as access our department's blog (where faculty, students, grads, and invited guests regularly post) and link to department videos on Vimeo. You can also find the department page and student association (Religious Studies Student Association) on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@StudyReligion) and Instagram.

Visit Department Website



  • Steven Ramey
Graduate Director
  • Vaia Touna
Administrative Secretary
  • Keisha Harris
  • Steven L. Jacobs
  • Russell T. McCutcheon
  • Steven Ramey
  • K. Merinda Simmons
  • Theodore L. Trost
  • Michael Altman
Associate Professors
  • Daniel Levine
  • Nathan Loewen
  • Richard Newton
  • Vaia Touna
Assistant Professors
  • Edith Szanto


General prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of both the director of graduate studies and the instructor. Graduate students enrolled in 500-level courses that are also offered at the 400 level are expected to perform extra work of an appropriate nature.

Social Theory and Religious Studies

This three credit hour graduate seminar introduces students to terms and ideas from social theory and their relevance to the academic study of religion. Throughout the course, students will apply theories to analyze examples relevant in Religious Studies, both ancient and modern. Each student will also select an important work in their chosen field of study in consultation with their advisor and analyze that work in depth in relation to the various issues discussed in the course.

Prerequisite(s): None, except admission to degree program
Public Humanities and Religious Studies

This graduate seminar introduces students to public humanities and digital humanities approaches to the study of religion. Students learn methods and tools for conducting digital research and explore ways to communicate theoretical and religious studies research to public audiences through digital media. Students are introduced to a number of digital tools for research, scholarly communication, and public engagement and will work to apply those tools to their individual research interests and goals.

Prerequisite(s): None, except admission to degree program

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