Overview

Religion plays an important role in the ways people make meaning of the world, in turn guiding their views and practices and shaping the paths their lives take.

The Department of Religious Studies gives students the tools they need to understand and to engage with religious people from the past and present.  Religious Studies courses aim:

- to cultivate knowledge of the views and practices of a wide variety of religious communities;

- to provide an understanding of the historical underpinnings and trajectories of religious traditions;

- to steep students in a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches used in the academic study of religion;

- to help students perceive the various ways religion intersects with important issues and topics, including the environment, law, politics, race, socio-economic class, gender, and sexuality; and

- to provide students the opportunity to conduct an in-depth research project and to gain mastery of their chosen topic.

The major in Religious Studies provides a firm grounding in the liberal arts. Students develop an ability to read sources carefully and critically, to approach the study of a topic from a range of positions and from multiple disciplinary frames, and to develop well-reasoned judgments.

While the rigorous curriculum and comprehensive project prepare students who intend to pursue graduate work in Religious Studies, the skills developed in the department are also valuable to students who plan to pursue a range of professions, including law, medicine, business, social services, government, or religious vocations.