Program Description

Religion and Modernity is a multidisciplinary program of study whose aim is to combine conceptual and historical work in the study of its principal terms. Religion and modernity are each concepts, histories, classifying terms, and social systems. They refer to elements of the world while also serving as mobile constructs for revision and critique. Students in this program may undertake a wide range of projects on materials from around the globe, focusing for example on literary or philosophical corpora, social institutions, collectives, or networks of objects. Such projects will: 1) investigate some aspect of religion and modernity taken individually as well as together and 2) draw on both conceptual and historical modes of inquiry.  Coursework and examinations will traverse areas such as philosophy, theology, and their histories; modern history and literature; political, cultural, and social theory; the history of art; and the anthropology and history of religions. The doctoral curriculum in Religion and Modernity is designed to prepare students for careers in the study of religion and related fields. A student’s own interests and expertise will determine how to position their research in light of existing units of study in the humanities and social sciences. The aim of this field, however, is also to bring to light new divisions, connections, and possibilities, and thereby to equip students to become scholars who remake as well as respond to existing intellectual and social worlds.