The Religion Department offers a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and critical program that explores the variety of religious experiences and expressions. In addition to courses that demonstrate the power and limits of various critical approaches to the study of religion, the department provides opportunities to analyze practices of interpretation, systems of belief, and patterns of religious behavior; the history of religious traditions; the effects of religion in society; the ways religions can form collective identity through race, nationalism, gender and sexuality, class, caste, language, and migration; and various forms of religious phenomena such as myth, ritual, texts, and theological and philosophical reflection.
Most courses are open to all students without prerequisites, although those with no background in the academic study of religion should consider starting with a 100 or 200-level course. A minor is available for those who wish to develop a modest program in religion in support of another major. The major is open to all students seeking an interdisciplinary home in the humanities and social sciences.
Admission to the Minor
To enter the minor, students should submit a request via the Major/Minor/Certificate Declaration link in their portfolio and e-mail the chair of their interest.
- Two courses in at least two areas of “Historical Traditions,” as listed in our Description of Programs in Religion. In this category there are both survey courses (generally numbered at the 200-level) and seminars (generally numbered at the 300-level).
- Two additional courses of the student’s choice. One of these courses may include RELI398, though this is not required. Student’s must take REL151 prior to REL398.
- The department will accept, as one of the courses for the minor, either one course taken abroad or one course that is cross listed but not taught by members of the department.