a bearded man
Early scholar of religion, E. B. Tylor (1832-1917), wrote an influential book on so-called primitive cultures and their religions.

The academic study of religion has existed since the late 19th century. It was first developed in Europe by scholars who today are also considered the intellectual founders of such related fields as anthropology, sociology, and psychology.

Although the field is almost uniformly known as Religious Studies in the U.S., it is currently practiced in a variety of ways. For instance, consider visiting the following selection of different schools’ self-descriptions of their programs to see the many ways in which the field is understood–being mindful of these descriptions’ similarities and differences:

Interested in learning more? Then consider the visiting our About Us page or any of the following links, where you’ll learn more about the academic study of religion as it is practiced here at The University of Alabama: