Religion is one of the creative expressions of the human spirit. As such, it has shaped and, in turn, been shaped by virtually all historical traditions as well as by many other forms of human activity such as the arts, literature, political thinking, and social behavior. Therefore, the academic study of religion should be carried out through diverse scholarly methodologies, and it should treat experiences in a variety of cultural contexts in different periods. Students who wish to understand the manner in which religion, in its broadest terms, has contributed to the shaping of the human experience are encouraged to pursue a course of study that will expand their methodological skills as well as give them a firm command of a particular cultural or historical context. Courses in the study of religion tend to emphasize the human search for meaning and value in history; the manner in which particular religious traditions, practices, thoughts, and orientations have evolved over time; and the degree to which religious views have interacted creatively with other systems of thought and other meaningful expressions of human activity. In addition to courses in the Department of Religious Studies, other departments, such as anthropology, classics, history, philosophy, and sociology, offer related courses. For more information on the Department or Religious Studies and its programs, visit www.religiousstudies.pitt.edu.