2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog


Religion

Religion is available as a major on the BA degree and as a minor on the BA, BS and BBA degrees.

The meaning of human existence in relation to ultimate reality has been a concern of all cultures past and present. Any adequate understanding of human culture must take seriously the phenomenon of religion. The academic study of religion, therefore, is a central part of a liberal arts education, at home among the disciplines called the humanities. The Department of Religion provides an informed understanding of various aspects of religious traditions. More broadly, it supports the University's commitment to multiculturalism and education from a global perspective through study of the cultural diversity apparent in the world's religious traditions. Interdisciplinary and foreign studies contribute to the development of such awareness, and the department encourages students to explore those possibilities.

Courses in the department approach religious traditions historically, textually, aesthetically, philosophically and comparatively, and consider the role of religion in society, culture and individual life. These courses introduce students to various methods and issues in the study of religion; familiarize them with the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions; develop their critical thinking, reading and writing skills; and encourage them to explore and evaluate their own culturally conditioned self-understandings and ultimate commitments. Students will find the multidimensional study of religion to be fertile ground for developing habits of mind that are excellent foundations for professional life. Those planning for seminary, graduate study in religion or other disciplines, or church-related vocations will be well prepared by department courses and well supported by faculty advisement.

Writing Proficiency

The development of writing proficiency is a vital component of the educational process. Both majors and minors are encouraged to utilize faculty assistance and the resources of the Writing Center to achieve that goal.

Honors College

Religion majors who plan to pursue Departmental Honors must be members of the Honors College and should enroll in RELI 30003 during their junior year, and RELI 40003 during the fall semester of their senior year. Note: RELI 30003 substitutes in the major for the required Senior Seminar, RELI 40603.