The Religious Studies Minor explores a broad spectrum of religious traditions and cultures,
east and west, ancient and modern. Students will examine religion outside the framework
of any particular belief system and negotiate the tension between the perspective
of faith and the demands of scholarship.
To understand other cultures, as well as our own history, it is crucial to appreciate
the religious influences that have shaped much of the world’s literature, politics,
art, and economics. Consequently, the study of religion is an exciting intellectual
endeavor – cross-cultural in content and multidisciplinary in approach – seeking to
engage the critical issues of religion in their many facets: historical, textual,
cultural, sociological, experiential, and philosophical. Because religious pluralism
plays an important role in teaching the value of diversity, the Religious Studies
Minor will bring a broad range of perspectives into the study.
The Minor is designed for students with a diversity of backgrounds and interests and
will complement related coursework undertaken in a broad range of academic disciplines.
The two required courses, Introduction to Religion and Perspectives on Religion, provide
students with an appreciation of the variety of religious experiences and actions
of humanity, and knowledge of the basic approaches used to study religion. Elective
courses offered in several departments across campus permit students to further develop
interests, by exploring particular religious traditions and ways of studying religion.
The Senior Capstone Project integrates previous coursework and can be coordinated
with work done in the student's major, through arrangement with an appropriate faculty
sponsor and approval of the program coordinator.