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Mission Statement

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town is committed to research and teaching which will contribute to public life in our local, regional, national and continental context. The Department is dedicated to:

  • An open, plural, intercultural, and interdisciplinary study of religion in all its forms

  • The in-depth study of African religious traditions

  • The creative and critical analysis of religion as a force in personal, social, economic and political life

  • The promotion of quality education and research in the study of religion as a vital contribution to the transformation and development of South Africa

The mission statement is implemented through degree programmes that focus on the broad theme of religion, culture and identity. The Department offers a systematic study of religion in public life, its meaning and significance in South Africa in particular and Africa in general. The broad theme reflects the various research projects of the faculty members and institutes presently housed in the Department. In the first instance, the theme is explored in core courses team-taught by faculty members. These core courses provide the thematic, methodological and theoretical foundations for all students who choose to pursue degrees in the Department of Religious Studies. Additional courses continue this focus within the established areas of specialisation: African Studies, Christian Studies, Comparative Studies, and Islamic Studies.