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Traditions and cultures, east and west, ancient and modern

Religious Studies 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. Religious pluralism plays an important role in teaching the value of diversity, thus Religious Studies Minor will bring a broad range of perspectives into the study.

The program is designed for students with a diversity of backgrounds and interests and will complement related coursework undertaken in a broad range of academic disciplines. "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 other course work, through arrangement with an appropriate faculty sponsor and approval of the program coordinator.