Undergraduate Programs in Religious Studies
|BA in Religious Studies||Coursework||Dr. Paul Williams|
|Minor in Religious Studies||Coursework||Dr. Paul Williams|
Interdisciplinary Minors with Religious Studies Coursework
|Islamic Studies Interdisciplinary Minor||Coursework||Dr. Ramazan Kilinc|
|Native American Studies Interdisciplinary Minor||Coursework||Dr. Beth Ritter|
Why study Religion?
Religion is a major source of inspiration, meaning, and controversy in human culture, informing history, politics, economics, art, and literature. It rivals trade as a major trans-national force across the globe. One cannot hope to understand world history and literature — or current events like Middle East politics, the recent insurgencies in Thailand, the genocide in Sudan, or US presidential elections — without knowledge of religion. Debates over science and religion, as well as religion and law, are often front-page news.
Throughout history, inquiry into religions has inspired and troubled artists, musicians, filmmakers, and writers — including T.S. Eliot, Dante, Toni Morrison, Tagore, Tupac Shakur, Euripides, Rumi, William Blake, Margaret Mead, John Updike, Tolstoy, Leonard Bernstein, John Coltrane, George Lucas, Einstein, Gandhi — among countless others. Religious ritual and belief are also among the most powerful forces uniting past and present, shaping memory and identity from generation to generation, and across millennia.
What can I do with my Religious Studies degree?
Majoring in Religious Studies can provide excellent training for a variety of careers, such as:
- The arts
Our department encourages students to become well-informed and independent thinkers prepared to learn and engage in scholarly research techniques — including collection of information and distillation and analysis of data with the help of critical skills and methods.
This major requires students to pay close attention to the facts through careful and unprejudiced reading of texts, have an open attitude toward sources, and make close observation of individual and group behavior. Students also apply critical analysis and interpretation of literary and material data, based on appropriate theoretical and methodological tools, and communicate findings and conclusions clearly and effectively through expository and analytical writing and oral presentation.
The department faculty seeks to develop in students a number of important, valuable, and transferable skills required by any profession or position.