The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion will allow students to focus their studies on religion and society. Its thematic emphases and curricular structure are closely aligned with those of the Graduate Program in the Study of Religion at UC Davis. Much like the Graduate Program, a DE in the Study of Religion will help graduate students specialize in some aspect of the study of religion in a way not currently available through other existing Ph.D. programs. Some programs do offer training in religious traditions from specific disciplinary perspectives; these include history, English, Native American Studies, anthropology, and sociology. Unlike these programs, however, the DE in the Study of Religion provides graduate students with an interdisciplinary understanding of how religion in general has been conceptualized and studied historically and how these understandings continue to inform basic categories of thought, behavior and identity across the world and especially in the West. Rather than approaching religion as a fixed entity that informs change in other more dynamic fields (e.g. literature, culture, society, behavior), the DE will help students think about the study of religion as historically variable, contextualized, and itself constitutive of the subject of inquiry.