Religion is an essential dimension of human thought and experience. It shapes our history, culture, values, and beliefs. It influences debates on a diverse range of issues, including global terrorism and political ideologies, gender and racial equality, ethics and social justice.
The Religion Department offers courses in all the great world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Chinese and Japanese Religions. We teach a variety of courses on Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and American Religious History. In addition, we offer cross-cultural and thematic courses that examine particular topics, including women and religion, religion and politics, human rights, ethics, religious pluralism, mythology, mysticism, and film.
Department faculty use an academic, non-confessional methodology in teaching religion. In our classes we analyze religious beliefs, practices, texts, and institutions both descriptively and critically as intellectual, historical, and cultural phenomena. We do not argue for the truth of one, all, or no religion.
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Be effective writers
- Acquire knowledge of diverse religious traditions
- Acquire knowledge of diverse religious practices in historical context
- Have strong critical thinking skills
Religion Honors Program
Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in Religion may substitute an Honors project for the Senior Seminar. An Honors project involves independent study with a faculty mentor. It will usually extend over two consecutive terms and earn six hours of credit upon its successful completion. The project culminates in the writing of a major research paper (25-30 pages) during the second term and an oral defense of the project with the Department faculty.
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