The Department of Religious Studies came into being at the inception of the University College, Ibadan, in 1948. It began by offering one of the subjects for B.A. General Degree, Special Relationship with the University of London. The Special Relationship ended officially in July 1968.
In October 1962, the University College obtained its own charter and became a University. Since then, it has begun to teach for its own degree.
Purpose of the Department
The Department of Religious Studies, like all the Departments of the University, is academic. Its primary purpose is to study religion so as to discover, establish or preserve truth. The purpose of the Department as set out in the brochure of the Faculty of Arts is:
To enable the student to understand the phenomenon and the social implications of religion in general and religion in Africa in particular. Courses are offered in the field of history and phenomenology of religions, theology and philosophy, aiming at an interpretation and understanding of African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam, separately and in so far as there has been cross-fertilization between them.
Religious Studies also offers combined Honours programmes with Arabic and Islamic Studies, Archaeology, Classical Studies, English, Language Arts, Linguistics, Philosophy, Theatre Arts and Yoruba.
At the same time, it serves the practical purpose of preparing men and women to be worthy citizens in the service of their country. It is essential that in all walks of life, there should be leaders with clear minds, disciplined and organized personalities, ready to cope ably with the day-to-day problems confronting the country on the personal, domestic, regional and national levels. It is particularly important that there should be people who can stand up to the spiritual and ethical problems which are always with us in various forms. Some of those problems, in consequence of their specific nature, can only be adequately treated by capable Africans. The Department of Religious Studies of this University is aware of this multi-dimensional task, and appreciates its responsibility in regard to it.