Why Study Religion? with Ph.D Student Patrick Dunn

Why Study Religion? is a video series in which the CSR asks its faculty, students, staff, and guests what is important to them about the academic study of religion and why more folks should consider pursuing it. Find out more about the Center and its initiatives HERE. To learn more about OSU’s Religious Studies Major, visit our website at THIS LINK.

Why does Patrick Dunn, a Ph.D student in Comparative Studies think it’s important to study religion? Watch the video below to find out!



Patrick Dunn: Religion connects us with the vastness of what we don’t know, and that includes the very ancient human past. Religion is our link to our lost ancestry as a species. And religion is also — at least it has been for the last 5000 years or so — what connects humans to the cosmos beyond our understanding, beyond what is conceivable, really, as a reminder that our knowledge is limited, and that the universe is greater than we can comprehend. So, I think those are some of the really important reasons to study religion.

Patrick Dunn is a first-year Ph.D student in Comparative Studies. He is interested in the ways modern “secular” institutions mediate human relationships to the “paranormal” and “supernatural,” and how these relationships replicate a logic of religious secrecy. Before coming to OSU, he lived for ten years as a Zen Buddhist monastic and ordained priest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *