Religion

Faculty in the Department of History working in many geographic areas engage with religion in their research and teaching. History faculty are particularly interested in how religion is inflected by race, ethnicity, and gender; the relation among religion, culture, and belief; how people perform "religious" behavior through familial and social rituals and customs; the role of religion as a cohesive as well as disruptive force in multiethnic states or empires; the ways religious systems configure authority; pilgrimage in the context of population movements and migrations; religion and social movements; modernity, secularization, and crises of religious identity, as well as challenges to the narrative that connects modernity and secularization; religion and the public sphere; and religion in relation to science.

Religion in cross-cultural encounters is a particularly important theme for us, including religion as an aspect of colonialism; the encounter between European ways of knowing and those elsewhere; missionary enterprises and how they negotiate with prospective converts the meaning and practice of religion; religion in trading networks and diasporas; how religious norms operate in religiously plural environments; religious difference as a cause of stability and cooperation as well of instability and violence.

See list of faculty