Studying Religious Studies at Kenyon
The study of religion at Kenyon is intrinsically global and interdisciplinary. The faculty’s areas of expertise range from the history of early Christianity to Buddhist philosophy, from Sufi practices to Rastafari, and from ancient Judaism to religion and sci-fi and religion and pop music. The department’s courses use diverse disciplinary approaches, including philosophy, sociology, history, and anthropology, to think through questions about how different religious traditions have intersected with themes as varied as gender, social and political power, nature, death, communal life, psychology, and concepts of the transcendent.
Explore key Buddhist people, concepts and movements around the world from the 19th to the 21st centuries. How has Buddhism been shaped by modern political and social forces? How have colonialism and its aftermath influenced Buddhist institutions and practices? How do Buddhist ideas apply to theories of race, gender and sexuality?
Meanings of Death
In all cultures, the idea of death and dying shapes the imagination. We explore the symbols, interpretations and practices centering on death in diverse religious traditions and historical periods, using religious texts, art, literature and more to examine the questions death poses for the meaning of existence.
African Spirituality in the Americas
This course explores religious expressions of the African diaspora in the Americas, surveying Vodou, Afro-Christian traditions, Rastafari and more. We’ll pay close attention to the social history of these traditions, their understanding of the universe, their social structure and their rituals and ceremonies.
Defense Against the Dark Arts in the Jewish Tradition
Jews throughout history have sought to defend against unseen forces. Whether through crafting amulets and spells, mystical incantations to ascend to heaven or bind angels to their will, or powerful knowledge of witchcraft and talismans, Jews have dabbled in the enchanted as a defense against darkness in the world.