The University of California, Berkeley has unique strengths that make possible a broad, critical inquiry about religion. Few universities combine a distinguished research faculty with a comprehensive commitment to covering the entire globe throughout its history. We have, quite literally, experts on the world’s great religious traditions—from Anabaptism to Zoroastrianism, and from the Neolithic to Neoconservatives. Since Berkeley does not have a department of religion, these dozens of scholars have always been based within their home departments—Anthropology, History, Near Eastern Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, and many more.
To provide a forum for cross-disciplinary dialogue about religion, and a place for reflection on the role of the study of religion in the public university, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion was formed in 2011 to bring these scholars together to support and organize the study of religion on UC’s vast campus.
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BCSR is supported by UC’s College of Letters and Sciences: Divisions of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences, the Endowed fund for the Study of Religious Tolerance, the Frank and Leslie Yeary Endowment for Ethics in the Humanities, and the Henry Luce Foundation.