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The study of religion is rich and multi-faceted because religion touches many aspects of human life: politics, culture, literature, art, law, economics, sexuality, and science. To analyze religion's multiple dimensions, our program introduces students to a spectrum of issues and questions, as well as to a variety of disciplinary approaches and critical methodologies from across the humanities.

Being religious is different from studying religion academically. Rather than try to determine ultimate truths (we leave that task to the theologians), in our classrooms we observe religion as a human phenomenon that evolves over time and adapts to new contexts and challenges. Students of diverse religious commitments, or no religious commitments, take our courses.

Students concentrating in religion will graduate with the following skills and competencies:

  • mastery of the key concepts of global religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, & Islam)
  • ability to contextualize the expression of religion in particular social, political, and cultural environments
  • specialized knowledge in at least one religious tradition or area of comparative and issues-oriented study, and a broad competence in at least two others
  • use of this knowledge to reflect upon problems of interpreting religious texts
  • skill in the comparative and multi-disciplinary analytical methods used in the academic study of religion
  • ability to articulate research and arguments effectively orally and in writing
  • skill in evaluating different cultural perspectives on particular questions and issues, formulating sound arguments, and examining claims for strengths and weaknesses

All students who concentrate in religion take a 400-level capstone seminar during their junior or senior year that will provide them extensive opportunity for original research, critical and creative thought, and oral and written expression.

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