Dec. 18, 2020

The Academic Study of Religion Is Crucial to Higher Education
A Statement by the AAR Board of Directors

Religious studies departments are on the chopping block as institutions of higher education look for solutions to the symptoms caused by financial uncertainty from the pandemic and several years of budget deficits. So far this year, the American Academy of Religion has been called on eight times to advocate for a department facing closure. This should not be the case. Today’s cultural landscape makes apparent the value of a well-informed society that is able to incorporate religious literacy into its democratic and public deliberations. The academic study of religion is essential to preparing students to face the moral, cultural, and political complexities they will confront in life. It is part of preparing educated citizens for the world...