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About Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary minor devoted to the academic study of religion, administered by the Philosophy Department. The goal of the Religious Studies Program is to educate students in the scholarly interpretation of religion and to cultivate understanding of and respect for religious diversity (and secular perspectives) cross-culturally and historically. We hope to help students become reflective and informed citizens who can constructively engage in broader dialogue and debate on the role of religion in our communities and the world.

The core curriculum of The Religious Studies Minor, (A) REL 201: Introduction to Religious Studies and (B) REL 395: World Religions and Spirituality, involves the academic exploration of (A) different disciplinary approaches to the study of religion (historical, social, political, intellectual, philosophical, scientific, literary, and artistic), exposing students to the variety of methods employed to understand religion, and (B) different religious traditions, providing study of the continuities and changes within religious traditions, and the operation of religions in particular social contexts. Students will receive personal advising as to choices of elective courses from different disciplines that reflect their individual interests and academic goals.

Religious Studies provides an excellent background for students pursuing graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, and professional programs in business, law and foreign service. At the same time, Religious Studies prepares future teachers, business leaders, social workers, healthcare professionals, journalists, artists and citizens to reflectively situate religion in their own lives and appreciate the complexities of religious differences in a pluralistic society and world.