Religion is a major part of life in Texas, with the Pew Research Center estimating that around 60 percent of Texans consider it to be an important factor. To gain a better understanding of the role of faith in public life in the Lone Star State, one need only look to the state legislature. The first religious beliefs in Texas were held by the Native American tribes that lived in the region, such as the Caddo and Tonkawa. In these early spiritual practices, we can already see a connection between religion and physical spaces.
For instance, the Caddo tribes constructed large earthen mounds as the focal point for their religious and ceremonial activities. At the University of Texas, our mission is to promote the academic study of religion both by inspiring new generations of religious studies scholars and by educating people about the importance of religious studies in today's world. We support research into the nature of religion as a system of human thought and behavior, how it shapes human identity and culture, and its impact on social and historical development within and between religious traditions. It is clear that religion plays an important role in Texas, both historically and today. From Native American tribes to modern-day Texans, faith has been a major part of life in this state.
The University of Texas is committed to exploring this role through research and education, helping to ensure that religion remains an integral part of life in Texas for generations to come.