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Religion touches many aspects of human life: politics, culture, literature, art, law, economics, sexuality, and science. To analyze religion's multiple dimensions, our program introduces students not only to diverse religious traditions, but also to a spectrum of issues, questions, disciplinary approaches, and critical methodologies from across the humanities.

Being religious is different from studying religion academically. Rather than try to determine ultimate truths (we leave that task to the theologians), in our classrooms we observe religion as a human phenomenon that evolves over time and adapts to new contexts and challenges. Students of diverse religious commitments, or no religious commitments, thrive in our courses.

Students concentrating in the study of religion will graduate with the following skills and competencies:

  • mastery of key concepts of global religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
  • ability to contextualize the expression of religion in particular social, political, and cultural environments
  • specialized knowledge in at least one religious tradition or comparative topic, and a broad competence in at least two others
  • use of this knowledge to reflect upon problems of interpreting religious texts
  • skill in the comparative and multi-disciplinary analytical methods used in the academic study of religion
  • ability to articulate research and arguments effectively orally and in writing
  • skill in evaluating different cultural perspectives on particular questions and issues, formulating sound arguments, and examining claims for strengths and weaknesses

All students who concentrate in religion take a 400-level capstone seminar during their junior or senior year that will provide them extensive opportunity for original research, critical and creative thought, and oral and written expression.

For the Religion program's latest assessment of its progress toward instilling the above skills and competencies, click here.

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