Dr. Rudolf Siebert

Critical Theory and the Study of Religion Conference in Honor of Dr. Rudolf Siebert

Nov. 16 at Fetzer Center
Dr. Siebert, after 54 years of service to WMU, retired in August. The Department will be hosting a scholarly conference in his honor on Nov. 16 at the Fetzer Center starting at 9 a.m. so mark your calendars. Hope to see you there!


In the meantime, one of his old students has created a YouTube channel of Dr. Siebert's video lectures. This is an amazing collection!


Dr. Siebert would also like to establish an endowment at WMU to carry on his important work in the Critical Theory of Religion. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping us achieve this goal, please contact Dr. Stephen Covell, chair, Department of Comparative Religion.


Check out Wonderful article on mlive about our very own Dr. Siebert.

Read the College of Arts and Sciences article regarding Dr. Siebert.

Welcome to Fulbright Scholar Dr. Souad Eddouada

On behalf of the Department of Comparative Religion, please join our welcome reception for Fulbright Scholar Dr. Souad Eddouada, who will be visiting WMU during fall 2019. Eddouada’s primary affiliation is with the Department of Comparative Religion, and she has secondary affiliations with the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies, Geography, and Sociology, as well as the global and international studies program. Eddouada is an associate professor of English at Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra, Morocco. She is an expert in Islam, gender, human rights and land reform. Eddouada recently was awarded a multi-year grant from the Moroccan Ministry of Education, Ibn Khaldoun Social Science Program, to support research and writing for her book project "Gender and Land Rights in Morocco: Privatization and Women’s Protest in a Muslim-Majority Nation." Her work on gender, human rights and family law in Morocco has been published internationally in journals and edited volumes. Her scholarship has been supported by several Fulbright grants, as well as grants and fellowships from the Society for Advanced Research (Princeton), University of California Davis, the Open Society Institute, and Lund University (Sweden).

Grant supports graduate students abroad

Two Department of Comparative Religion graduate students received support for their study abroad trip to Japan this summer from the Cornelius Loew Study Abroad Grant. The grant is named for Dr. Cornelius Loew who came to WMU in 1956 to introduce the study of philosophy and religion. By 1958 he had founded the Department of Philosophy and Religion, which subsequently split in 1967 to become the two departments known today as Philosophy and the Department of Comparative Religion. He subsequently served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1964-77), Vice President of Academic Affairs (1977-79) and Distinguished University Professor (1980-88). One student will be giving a presentation about his study abroad experience, the other is sharing her paper describing the sites she visited and the program.

The 2021 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar

See the attached flyer for info regarding the 2021 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar and/or contact Dr. Covell if you want to go or know someone who might be interested. We take students from other schools who want a unique experience in Japan. If you have friends or family studying elsewhere, bring them with you! This year we split the program into two halves to make more affordable options. The first half is the original two-week three-credit hour course that centers around the home base Zojoji in downtown Tokyo. The second part includes Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima.

4 + 1 Program with Kalamazoo College and Grand Valley state university

The Department of Comparative Religion is pleased to announce the creation of another 4+1 graduate program! We now partner with the Department of Religion at Grand Valley State University as well as the Department of Religion at Kalamazoo College. Under these programs, students majoring in religion at these schools will be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours of work towards their master's degree in comparative religion at Western Michigan University.

For questions, please contact the graduate advisor Dr. Cynthia Visscher.

Study religion at WMU

Do you want to know more about religion, the role and significance of religion in societies and the ways in which academics think about and analyze religion? Areas of study in Western Michigan University's Department of Comparative Religion provide knowledge and skills relevant to many careers and professions.

There are few things more important to study today than religion

Don't take our word for it, just listen to the US Secretary of State John Kerry: "I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions rather than political science." This is a great read.

Scholarships available

Take advantage of these great opportunities for funding.