Many of todayʼs pressing political and social problems can be better understood with more knowledge about the religious practices that undergird them. By exploring the public and private concerns that religions engage — for example, the nature of community and solitude, suffering and death, good and evil — students will discover new ways of interpreting the complex world in which they live. As students venture into the religions of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Europe, they will learn about behaviors, doctrines, values, rituals, texts, and forms of community. Students will also discover much about conflict and accord within and between religions, as well as between religious and secular perspectives.
The Department of Religion offers students a broad range of course options in recognition of the variety of academic approaches to the study of religion, including courses that engage the category of religion through textual analysis, sociology, historical studies, ethnography, material and popular culture studies, and philosophy, among others. In addition, department faculty participate in many of the college's multidisciplinary programs, including Africana Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Jewish Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available in these and other programs.