The Religious Studies department is committed to teaching and research which furthers understanding of the role of religion in local, global, diasporic, transnational and virtual contexts. Our staff include historians, anthropologists and sociologists and we apply a wide range of methodological approaches. Although we engage with belief and theology, we are interested in the ways in which religion shapes identities and practices in everyday life, and how it is relevant to politics, society and culture, both historically and in the present day.
We study the ways in which communities and individual lives shape and are shaped by religion. We are committed to ethical research and teaching that does not promote any particular religious or non-religious viewpoint and we neither assume nor preclude personal religious commitment on the part of staff or students.
Our distance learning courses are grounded in the research carried out by individual staff members and research groups. In keeping with the mission of The Open University, we aim to promote social justice by reaching out to large numbers of students of diverse backgrounds, and by empowering them with a critical understanding of the values, ideas and ways of living of people they might not be able to encounter directly.
Religious Studies can also enhance your employability and lead you into a variety of careers.