Religious Studies

Mark Unno, Department Head
311 Susan Campbell Hall
1294 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1294
541-346-4118 fax

The Department of Religious Studies offers courses about the teachings and practices of the world’s religions from an academic perspective. Courses focus on the history of religions including their origins, sacred texts, rituals and practices, beliefs, and subgroups. These courses provide a broad understanding of the nature and role of religion in the world’s many cultures, present and past, for students in all fields, as well as integrated programs for majors in religious studies.

From antiquity to the present, religion has provided a vocabulary for individuals to confront ultimate questions about the meaning of life. At the societal level, religion drives the formation of community and conflict. The rise of militant Buddhism in Myanmar, the role of Evangelicals in US politics, and the struggle for legitimacy among contemporary Muslims are only a few contemporary examples of the relevance of religious studies. Understanding the role of religion is critical for analyzing socio-political forces shaping the world today.

An undergraduate major in religious studies can lead to graduate programs in religious studies—either academic or professional—as well as other related areas of graduate studies such as history, sociology, folklore, and various area studies (e.g., Middle East studies, East Asian languages and literatures).
Students with a bachelor of arts in religious studies have had success in various professional fields such as religion, journalism, social work, education, business, and law.


Frederick Colby, associate professor (Islam). BA, 1991, Haverford College; MA, 1995, Chicago; PhD, 2002, Duke. (2008)

Hanan Elsherif, senior instructor (Arabic). BA, 1993, MA, 2002, PhD, 2009, Minia. (2011)

Deborah A. Green, associate professor (history and literature of Judaism, biblical studies). BA 1984, Brandeis University; MA 1997, University of Chicago; PhD 2003, University of Chicago. (2003)

Luke Habberstad, assistant professor. BA, 2003, Yale; MA, 2007, PhD, 2014, California, Berkeley. (2014)

David Hollenberg, associate professor (Arabic). BA, 1990, Wesleyan; MA, 1996, California, Santa Barbara; PhD, 2006, Pennsylvania. (2010)

Jeffrey Schroeder, assistant professor (religion and modern Asia). BA, 2005, MA, 2009, Reed; MA, 2009, Duke; PhD, 2015, Duke. (2017)

Stephen J. Shoemaker, professor (history of Christianity). BA, 1991, Emory; MA, 1994, PhD, 1997, Duke. (2000)

Mark T. Unno, associate professor (East Asian religions, Buddhism). BA, 1987, Oberlin; MA, 1991, PhD, 1994, Stanford. (2000)


Judith R. Baskin, professor emerita. BA, 1971, Antioch; PhD, 1976, Yale. (2000)

Hee-Jin Kim, professor emeritus. BA, 1957, MA, 1958, California, Berkeley; PhD, 1966, Claremont. (1973)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.


Andrew E. Goble, history

Akiko Walley, history of art and architecture

Anita M. Weiss, international studies

Daniel N. Wojcik, English

Undergraduate Programs

Major - Bachelor's Degree