The program in religious studies offers the opportunity to acquire an understanding of religion within various cultural, historical, and political contexts through comparative approaches and an engagement with religion in everyday life. The major in religious studies is designed to enable students to not only gain a breadth of knowledge across a variety of religious traditions but also to pursue in-depth mastery of particular traditions in their practical and cultural dimensions, including the various normative and ideological issues that arise out the manifestation of religion in human affairs. In addition to the study of particular religious traditions, religious studies majors will be expected to gain a general knowledge of the theoretical and methodological approaches employed in the academic study of religion. Through the major, a student will enhance the ability to think, interpret, and write critically about a range of religious traditions through diverse methodological approaches.
Students that complete this program:
- Will be able to identify the influence of religion in popular and material cultures.
- Will be versed in the major theories and methodologies of the academic study of religion.
- Will possess literacy in a variety of religious traditions across cultures.
- Will be able to compare and contrast the major forms of religious life in Western and Eastern traditions.
- Will understand the role of religion in politics, government, and matters of social justice.
- Will be fluent in the language of particular religious traditions, including beliefs, rituals, practices, and institutions.
- Will be able to locate religious traditions in their social, cultural, and historical contexts.
- Will possess the hermeneutic tools to critically read and interpret religious texts.
- Will be able to understand and critically analyze the normative and ethical dimensions of religious traditions.
Type of Program