Professors Payne (Chair), Hardy, Zubko; Associate Professor Harvey
Participating Faculty: Holland Goldthwaite (Classics), Chess (English), Kaplan (Mathematics); Maitra (Philosophy)
The Department of Religious Studies seeks to engage students in the study of religion as an academic discipline within the broader tradition of the liberal arts. As a field of humanistic inquiry, the study of religion at UNC Asheville investigates both the development and contemporary significance of the human religious experience from interdisciplinary perspectives that incorporate a variety of methodological approaches.
As is appropriate to its setting in a publicly supported university, the department is nondenominational and non-confessional. We do not advocate for or against any religion; rather students explore a diversity of religious traditions, including those that have influenced the development of “western” culture (primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the religions of East and South Asia, and indigenous and diasporic religious traditions as a means to examine the larger role of religion in human societies. Courses in Religious Studies are inherently multidisciplinary and stress the academic skills of critical inquiry and effective communication that are appropriate to a wide variety of careers and graduate study opportunities.