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The field of Religious Studies is concerned with those features of the human experience that are commonly referred to as "sacred" or "religious." Typically, human cultures and societies regard as "sacred" or "religious" those things that deal with matters of ultimate concern and/or serve to connect human experience to a larger, transcendental order. The academic study of religion necessarily draws on an exceptionally broad range of scholarly disciplines and fields of study. It is, thereby, genuinely interdisciplinary.

At the University of South Florida, Religious Studies includes the study of: material culture (religious art, buildings, and artifacts) and non-material culture (ideas, values, myths, and symbols); the genesis, transmission, and interpretation of sacred texts; religious ethics; the history of religious traditions, communities, and theological discourse; religion and popular culture; new religious movements; the interconnection between religion and other social institutions, including the family, schools, the state, the economy, etc.; as well as various social and political issues involving religion. Our faculty teach and conduct research not only about particular religious traditions but also about the crucial role of religious thought and practice as they relate to globalization, sustainability, the environment, ethics, politics, and culture.

The Department maintains and promotes relations with other departments at USF, including Anthropology, Communication, English, History, Humanities & Cultural Studies, Philosophy, the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies, and World Languages. Faculty from these departments with substantive expertise and interest in religion sometimes teach Religious Studies courses (and/or cross-listed courses) and serve on graduate committees.