University of Washington

Comparative Religion

(206) 543-4835


Angkor Wat, Cambodia, photo by Emily Wilson*

Why study Comparative Religion at the University of Washington?
The UW's Comparative Religion Program is virtually unique in the United States.  Located within a school of international studies, it provides students access to resources from every region of the world. Its faculty come from departments and programs across campus in a long-standing tradition of interdisciplinary instruction. As such it offers courses in Anthropology, Art History, Classics, History, Near East Languages and Civilization, English, Jewish Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science and International Studies among many others. The heart of the Program is - and has always been - its committed, nationally recognized faculty and gifted students.

How is Comparative Religion different from a school of divinity?
Courses in Comparative Religion explore major religious traditions of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East within the context of politics, social organization human security, violence and justice and encourage students to reflect on the role religion has played throughout history.

Divinity schools prepare students for ordination and focus on preaching and counseling.

How can I find courses in Comparative Religion in the time schedule?
Many of our courses appear under JSIS C. We are withing the Jackson School of International Studies. Many of our courses are cross listed with other departments and these also appear in JSIS C. For courses that are not cross-listed but that apply to the major click.

How can I receive information on events sponsored by Comparative Relgion?
Public lectures, films, and conferences focus on the relationship between religion and human security, democracy, and other pressing social issues of contemporary life are are open to the public. To receive information on events, send an email to





*WHO IS EMILY WILSON? Many of the photographs appearing on our web pages were generously provided by the talented Emily M. Wilson. Emily is a UW graduate with a Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and Comparative Religion, Emily’s stunning images focus on people and cross-cultural events. She also presents travel lectures on cross-cultural interests, religion, women in various cultures.


Program Coordinator, Loryn Paxton
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4835

Graduate Advising, Paula Milligan
(206) 543-6001

Student Advising, Linda Iltis
Transfer credits from another university to UW, inquire about learning abroad programs etc
(206) 543-6001