Religious Studies

School of Arts and Sciences


Religion as an academic subject is considered to express the mythic dimensions of human societies. It communicates ethical standards, and frequently makes claims about the nature of human beings and of ultimate reality. Its study is not restricted to those who have a religious background or who are pursuing a religious vocation. Students taking courses in religion will be encouraged to view religion in its cultural context, and will be expected to read religious literature as liable to appreciation, criticism, and debate.

Since few secondary schools offer courses in religious studies, not many undergraduates will be familiar with the academic study of religion. The undergraduate minor in Religion is a liberal arts minor, comparable to such minors as History, Philosophy, or English.

Many disciplines are brought to bear within the department on the study of religion: history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, theology, and ethics all have a role to play. Departmental courses also stress the development of what are essential to the analysis and interpretation of the intellectual and social systems that constitute the data of religious studies.

Key Benefits

  • Our faculty members bring diversity and experience to the classroom, making your courses both interesting and stimulating.
  • Class sizes are small, promoting personal attention, open discussion, the interchange of ideas, and a casual, but studious atmosphere.
  • Participation in internships helps establish connections between scholarly studies and real-world scenarios.
  • Research seminars provide opportunities for research and analysis of specific topics in Religion, leading to the development of a senior thesis.

About the Program

What You'll Learn

Students interested in graduate studies in philosophy or theology are encouraged to take Religious Studies courses to complement their major.

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