Religious Studies - University of Houston
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Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Program offers courses that foster the understanding of world religions and their influence on human behavior and world affairs. Knowledge of the beliefs, practices, and history of world religions is essential to the education of thoughtful citizens in our global society.

Courses in Religious Studies provide an arena for respectful dialogue among major world religions, and facilitate understanding of contemporary conflicts having to do with religious identity. Courses draw on textual analysis, history, anthropology, psychology, art history, sociological and cultural analysis, and political philosophy with the purpose of approaching and analyzing a central area of human experience. Thus students acquire essential skills for comprehending politics and cultures on a global scale. The program offers a major and a minor in Religious Studies.

In the News

Fall 2020 Welcome Newsletter

Fall 2020 Welcome Newsletter

RELS Lecturer Dr. Borkataky-Varma at Harvard University!

The Religious Studies Program proudly acknowledges that one of its esteemed lecturers, Dr. Sravana Borkataky-Varma, has been chosen for a position at Harvard University. Dr. Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur; she holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Religion at Rice University. She studies and researches Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, particularly in Hinduism (Śākta Tantra). She serves as a lecturer in the Religious Studies Program at UH, where she teaches courses such as RELS 2340 Introduction to Hinduism or RELS 2396 Selected Topics – History of Yoga. Yet for the 2020-21 academic year, she has been chosen for a one-year appointment at Harvard University, where she will be a guest lecturer in Hindu Traditions. Congratulations, Sravana!

Dr. Lynn Mitchell, August 15, 1940–July 20, 2019

With profound sadness, the Religious Studies Program at the University of Houston received the news of the passing of Dr. Lynn E. Mitchell Jr., its visionary founder and dedicated academic director of 29 years (1985–2014). We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences – R.I.P.

Lynn Mitchell held a doctorate in Religious Studies from Rice University (1979) in Houston, TX. His selected publications include Walking in the Light: How Christians Face Ethical Issues and The Two Books of God: Science and the Bible. In recognition of his achievements and sacrificial service to the Religious Studies Program at the University of Houston, an endowment named The Lynn E. Mitchell Distinguished Professorship. Supporters of Religious Studies was created in 2010.

More information

Fall Semester Courses: RELS 2380 Religion and Film

Houston Conference:  November 19-22, 2019: Berit, Diatheke, Foedus, Covenant, Bund 

Program news: Religious Studies Program Celebrates Generous Donations

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Caryn Tamber-Rosenau interviewed for podcast "Teaching a Bible that Matters"

Student Spotlight: Student’s journey from Colombia to CLASS allows her to pursue multiple interests