Welcome to Religious Studies

Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion
(SECSOR) AAR/SBL Annual Conference

Religious Studies Program at East Carolina University is proud to host this Conference
Theme:  Religion, Animality, and the Posthuman
When:  March 8-10
Where: The New ECU Students Ballroom

Faculty, students, and the public are invited to participate in the conference. SECSOR is a regional American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) co-sponsored academic organization whose mission is to organize professors and scholars of religion and Biblical Studies to stimulate scholarship, discussion, and teaching in religion. We welcome participants to the beautiful city of Greenville in North Carolina. Although proposal submission for the 2019 annual meeting was October 1st, 2018, participants are encouraged to pre-register for the meeting here [link to be added here].

Some Plenary Sessions to visit:

  • "Are Scholars of Religion Posthumanists or Transhumanists?" by Dr. Ron Cole-Turner, of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, March 8, 2019  at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM in the New Student Center Ballroom.
  • "Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Humanity" by Dr. Calvin Mercer of East Carolina University, March 9, 2019 at 11:00 AM in Bate 1032.
  • Watchout for an Exhibit on Robotics, Drones, & Other Technologies to follow in Bate 2012  at 9 am.

Register for the Conference here

For details about SECSOR, visit https://secsor.org/.

Why Study Religion

As a Religious Studies student at East Carolina University, you will study religion from a nonsectarian, interdisciplinary fashion, and explore religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon with significant influence in the world. The Religious Studies program neither excludes nor promotes any religious tradition or viewpoint. In addition to exploring specific religions, students take courses in a variety of disciplines that consider religious themes and approaches. Some of these disciplines include anthropology, archaeology, art, history, literature, philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Religion is a social phenomenon that has great influence on human experience. Across the world history, religious values have, on the one hand, given human meaning and these traditions have laid the foundation for human relations as documented in human rights, democracy, social justice movements, interfaith interaction, tolerance and peace. On the other hand, religious ideologies have fueled conflict and encouraged insecurities such as acts of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, leading to dislocation and migration of populations and in some cases economies and general welfare of people have been destroyed. This is what great United States Secretary of the State have said regarding the significance of studying religion.

"In a world where people of all faiths are migrating and mingling like never before, we ignore the global impact of religion at our peril" - Madeline Albright, United States Secretary of State (2015)

"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that's how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today." -- United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry