studying catholic traditions as they appear across times and places 

What is Catholic Studies?

Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that takes different forms in different academic institutions. At UCSB we encourage the study of Catholicism as a global religious tradition and a way of life that has taken different cultural forms in various times and places.

Interdisciplinary – Many fields of study including Art History, Music, Literature, Areas Studies (e.g. Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, African Studies), Ethnic and Native American Studies, History, and Religious Studies can all contribute to a greater understanding of Catholicism.

Comparative – Familiarity with other religious traditions allows us to see features of the Catholic tradition that are both similar and different. The Department of Religious Studies offers extensive opportunities for comparative work between Catholicism and other branches of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Native American religions, and the religious traditions of Asia.

Interactive – We encourage the study of Catholicism as it has engaged with and been shaped by its engagements with other traditions, cultures, and intellectual systems through the use of historical and ethnographic methods.