Courses in religious studies are designed to contribute to a liberal education, one that emphasizes the ability to think independently and critically, to express oneself effectively in writing and speaking, to make careful judgments on the basis of explicit goals and values, and to understand Western traditions and their relation to other traditions.
The interdisciplinary minor in religious studies offers courses that explore some of the major western and non-western religious traditions in terms of their major historical movements and figures, dominant conceptual concerns, and central ethical and social implications. The complexity of religious belief is approached comparatively, from sociological, historical, literary and philosophical perspectives, in terms of traditional and contemporary perspectives.
A minor in religious studies is selected by students who see the study of religion as a doorway to understanding human nature and history, and hence an appropriate focus for a liberal education. Other students choose the minor as a background and preparation for a career, generally in fields such as social work, education, youth work, law, or seminary.
Requirements. Twenty-one credits, including at least nine from each of the following groups:
- AFA 369 / ANT 369 ; AFA 205 / ANT 205 / PHL 205 ; ANT 355 ; ENG 205 / CPL 205 , ENG 206 / CPL 206 ; PHL 151 , PHL 165 ; SOC 458 .
- AFA 357 ; AFA 358 / HIS 368 ; HIS 215 , HIS 216 , HIS 283 , HIS 387 ; PHL 341 , PHL 350 , PHL 376 .
In consultation with a member of the program faculty, and by arrangement with the instructor, a directed readings course may be taken in any of the disciplines above or in Psychology. The prerequisite for such a directed readings course is one course from requirement A above. Directed readings courses may be taken for a maximum of 3 credits, and these credits will apply only to requirement B.