Jon Cohen ’14 describes the path he took to his independent major in Middle Eastern studies as a happy accident.
Grinnell, Iowa -- Jeffrey Kripal—a prominent religious scholar who also has written about mutants, mystics, comic book superheroes and the paranormal—will deliver the Scholars’ Convocation at Grinnell College at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Titled “Authors of the Impossible: How to Think About the Paranormal,” the talk will take place in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. The event is open to the public at no charge.
Religious studies expert Jeffrey Kripal talks about superheroes, religion, and the paranormal.
Professor Tyler Roberts publishes book exploring religious studies, social scientific approaches to the field, and humanistic frameworks for understanding religion.
When you study the world's religious traditions, you learn about the histories, literatures, practices and beliefs that have shaped human societies. You study rituals and festivals that organize perceptions of time and place, disciplines that develop modes of attention, and ideas of holiness, justice, love, and beauty through which human beings have expressed their highest ideals. You develop tools to understand the complex ways that people across history and around the world oppose oppression, justify violence, understand their bodies, and give meaning to their lives.
Grinnell offers opportunities for students who want to continue their studies off-campus. Religious studies majors have lived in Hindu communities while studying in India, immersed themselves in the religious culture of Japan, studied with Buddhists scholars, and learned Hebrew in Jerusalem and Arabic in Cairo. Students also have arranged internships at Neighborhood Capital Budget Group and the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. One student held a summer internship that combined work among Hispanics in inner-city Chicago with the study of Catholic liberation theology.
Religious Studies helps you develop tools to understand the complex ways that people across history and around the world oppose oppression, justify violence, understand their bodies, and give meaning to their lives. Our curriculum is among the most international on campus and many majors study abroad, bringing their experiences to capstone seminars and mentored research projects.