In Memoriam

 It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of our recent graduates, Kevin Nester.  Kevin completed is MA with us in August 2012.  Kevin was a wonderful young man and a promising scholar.  It is hard to imagine that he is gone.  He will be greatly missed.  Among his many academic pursuits while at Western, Kevin traveled with fellow students to Japan on the department’s Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar.  His wit and insightful helped to make that trip a wonderful experience for everyone.  In honor of Kevin the faculty will be dedicating to him a study abroad scholarship to support future students who may wish to travel to Japan.  Donations made to the department in Kevin’s honor will be used to support the study abroad scholarship. Click here to make a donation in his name.

Information about Kevin’s funeral can be found here.

Kalamazoo Islamic Center Visit

Tuesday, March 20, 4 p.m.

Join us on a tour of the Kalamazoo Islamic Center to learn about Islam and to get to know our neighbors. We will hear the imam (prayer leader) speak and participate in a question and answer session. We’ll gather in front of Waldo Library at 4 p.m on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 to take the short walk over together. Or, you can meet us at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center (parking available, program starts at 4:15 p.m., 1520 W Michigan Avenue). All are welcome.

This event is hosted by: the WMU Comparative Religion Department, Kalamazoo Islamic Center, The Islam in Global Perspectives Speaker Series, and the Muslim Student Association. For more information, contact: Dr. Alisa Perkins

"American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear"

March 29, 2018, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fetzer Center- Putney Lecture Hall

Dr. Khaled Beydoun, Associate Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy Law School. "American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear". This talk examines the how law, policy, and official state rhetoric has fueled a frightening resurgence of Islamophobia. Beydoun argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. This talk is free and open to the public, and is part of the Islam in Global Perspective Speaker Series. For more information, contact

Congratulations to Danielle and all our graduates!

Danielle ShermanCongratulations to alumna Danielle Sherman (B.A. ’17, Comparative Religion and English) on graduating! Danielle explored the world through WMU and studied abroad in China in 2017. #GloballyEngagedBroncos

The 2019 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar

Note: The 2018 Japan trip has been changed to summer 2019

The 2019 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar is on again! See the attached flyer for more info 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. Click on the first slide in the slideshow above for more information.

Muslim superheroes

Our resident expert on religion and comic books, Dr. Kevin Wanner, has a chapter in this fascinating new book, "Muslim Superheroes", on comics and Islam. Check it out!

4 + 1 Program with Kalamazoo College

The Department of Comparative Religion is pleased to announce the creation of a 4+1 graduate program with the Department of Religion at Kalamazoo College. Under the program students majoring in religion at Kalamazoo College will be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours of work towards their master's degree in comparative religion. The first students to take advantage of the program will begin their graduate studies at WMU in 2018. For questions, please contact the graduate advisor Dr. Brian Wilson.

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.

Graduate Student Handbook

Be in the know! See the graduate handbook for information regarding the graduate program.

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