​Religious Studies


 
As a discipline, religious studies is both cross-cultural and comparative. It examines the whole of religious history in all its rich diversity, without privileging the truth-claims of any particular tradition, and seeks to articulate those common human concerns and aspirations that give rise to the religious impulse wherever it is found. The task of religious studies is neither to defend nor to attack religions, but to move toward a critical understanding of religions and the roles they have played and continue to play in societies
 
The histories of distinctive human cultures and the actions of creative individuals throughout those histories have been so profoundly shaped by religious beliefs and practices that knowledge of the ways in which those symbolic systems of meaning, value, and identity we call "religion" are constructed is essential to an adequate understanding of the human endeavor. Contrary to the view that ours is a "secular" age in which religion has become superfluous to cultural analysis, conflicts in religious visions and claims are at the heart of virtually every political and social crisis in our country and around the world. In a global age, a capacity to appreciate religious diversity and, at the same time, to think across those cultural boundaries and negotiate competing truth claims is as indispensable for success in the marketplace as it is for personal maturity.
 
In addition to this broadened intellectual understanding, courses in religious studies will help you develop skills in analytical thinking and effective communication that will prove useful in many areas of life. For more about this topic see Career Options.
 

 

 Religious Studies Major - Effective Fall 2013

​Philosophy Major with Concentration in Religious Studies (Bachelor of Arts)

EFFECTIVE FALL 2013

 
Consists of a minimum of 47 credits including:
 
1. Philosophy core, 12 credits.
a. Logic: PHIL 121 or 322.
b. Ethics: PHIL 101, 302, 305, 335, 336, 350, 351, or 380.
c. Any two additional courses in philosophy.
 
2. Religious studies concentration, 27 credits. At least 18 must be 300 level or above.
a. Introduction to the Study of Religion: REL 202. This (in conjunction with REL 450) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
b. Global Religions 1: Asian and Indigenous Traditions: Two courses from REL 100, 316, 333, 340,341, PHIL 105, or Anth 320.
c. Global Religions 2: Western Traditions: Two courses from REL 101, 302, 303, 304, 305, 311, 325, 330, or 342.
d. Senior seminar: REL 450. This will satisfy the Capstone Experience requirement and (in conjunction with REL 202) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
e. Electives: A minimum of 9 additional credits from religious studies or collateral courses including: Anth 110, 320, 380; ART 270, 374; HIST 332, 357; PHIL 320, 327, 330; Poli 324.
 
3. Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies: Complete a two-semester sequence of university entry-level world language courses (101, 102). The requirement may be fulfilled through equivalent coursework or other language acquisition as demonstrated through a test-out policy (including Native American languages and American Sign Language). If your native language is not English and you can document formal high school or university study of your native language, then you may use ENGL 101 and 202, or ENGL 150 as a means of fulfilling this foreign language requirement.

 

Philosophy Major with Concentration in Religious

Studies (Bachelor of Science)

Consists of a minimum of 42 credits including:
1. Philosophy core, 12 credits.
a. Logic: PHIL 121 or 322.
b. Ethics: PHIL 101, 302, 305, 335, 336, 350, 351, or 380.
c. Any two additional courses in philosophy.

2. Religious studies concentration, 27 credits. At least 18 must be 300 level or above.
a. Introduction to the Study of Religion: REL 202. This (in conjunction with REL 450) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.

b. Global Religions 1: Asian and Indigenous Traditions: Two courses from REL 100, 316, 333, 340,341, PHIL 105, or Anth 320.
c. Global Religions 2: Western Traditions: Two courses from REL 101, 302, 303, 304, 305, 311, 325, 330, or 342.
d. Senior seminar: REL 450. This will satisfy the Capstone Experience requirement and (in b. Global Religions 1: Asian and Indigenous Traditions: Two courses from REL 100, 316, 333, 340,341, PHIL 105, or Anth 320.
c. Global Religions 2: Western Traditions: Two courses from REL 101, 302, 303, 304, 305, 311, 325, 330, or 342.
d. Senior seminar: REL 450. This will satisfy the Capstone Experience requirement and (in conjunction with REL 202) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
e. Electives: A minimum of 9 additional credits from religious studies or collateral courses including: Anth 110, 320, 380; ART 270, 374; HIST 332, 357; PHIL 320, 327, 330; Poli 324.

3. Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies: Take three additional credits from the GEP Social Science or Natural Science categories.

 
 

 

 Religious Studies Major - Prior to Fall 2013

Majoring in Philosophy with an Emphasis in Religious Studies

The philosophy major with a concentration in religious studies consists of a minimum of 39 credits including:

  1.  Philosophy Core (12 credits).

    1. Logic - One Course (3 credits) selected from: Phil 121 (Critical Thinking), Phil 322 (Symbolic Logic).

    2. Ethics – One course (3 credits) selected from: Phil 101 (Contemporary Moral Problems), Phil 302 (Ethics and Medicine), Phil 305 (Ethics), Phil 336 (Social and Political Philosophy), or Phil 380 (Environmental Ethics).

    3. Philosophy Electives – Two courses (6 credits) selected from the philosophy curriculum.

  2. Religious Studies Concentration (27 credits, at least 18 of which must be at the 300-level or above).

    1. Introduction to the Study of Religion – One Course (3 credits): Rel 202 (Introduction to the Study of Religion).

    2. Global Religions 1, Asian and Indigenous Traditions - Two Courses (6 credits) selected from: Rel 100 (Religions of Asia), Rel 316 (Native American Religions), Rel 333 (Women and Goddesses in India), Rel 340 (Buddhism), Rel 341. (Religions of India), Phil 105 (Philosophy and Religion of India and China), or Anth 320 (Anthropology of Religion).

    3. Global Religions 2, Western Traditions - Two Courses (6 credits) selected from: Rel 101 (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Rel 302 (Religion and Cultural Conflict), Rel 303 (Jewish Scriptures), Rel 304 (New Testament and Early Christianity), Rel 305 (Prophets and Prophecy), Rel 311 (Religion in America), Rel 325 (Oppression and Liberation in Religion), Rel 330 (Women and Religion), or Rel 342 (Islam).

    4. Senior Seminar – One Course (3 credits): Rel 450 (Topics Vary).

    5. Electives – Three Courses (9 credits) selected from religious studies or collateral courses including: Anth 110 (Contemporary Cultural Diversity), Anth 320 (Anthropology of Religion), Anth 380 (Anthropology of Health and Disease), Art 270 (Survey of Asian Art I), Art 374 (Ancient and Medieval Japanese Art), Hist 332 (Women’s Issues in the Muslim World), Hist 357 (The Reformation), Phil 320 (Philosophy of Religion), Phil 327 (19th and 20th Century Philosophy), Phil 330 (Existential Philosophy), Poli Sci 324 (Religion and Politics).

Academic Standards: To be accepted and retained as a major or minor, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in courses counted toward the major or minor, including transfer credits and regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. Courses taken pass/fail or with a grade lower than C- may not be counted toward the major or minor.

Four Year Sequence

The following distribution of courses depends reflects one possible way in which a student may complete the major in four years. The path that any particular student will take toward the degree may vary and will depend upon which courses are offered in any given semester.

​Fall I ​Credits
​First Year Experience ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring I ​Credits
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
Introductory Course in Asian Religions (Rel 100 or Phil 105) 3 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Fall II ​Credits
Introductory Course in Western Religions (Rel 101) ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

Spring II ​Credits
Introduction to Religious Studies ​3 cr
​Critical Thinking (Phil 121) ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

Fall III ​Credits
300 Level Course in Western Traditions (REL 303, 304, 311, OR 342) ​3 cr
300 Level course in Asian or Indigenous Traditions (Rel 340, 341 or Anthro 320) ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring III ​Credits
Any Philosophy Course in Ethics (PHIL 101, 302, 305, 336, or 380) ​3 cr
Any additional Course in Philosophy
​3 cr
​Any additional Course in Religious Studies ​3 cr
General Education / Electives ​6 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

 

​Fall IV ​Credits
Any additional Course in Religious Studies ​3 cr
Any additional Course in Philosophy ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

Spring IV ​Credits
Senior Seminar (Rel 450) ​3 cr
Any additional Course in Religious Studies
​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

 

 Religious Studies Minor

Minoring in Religious Studies

The religious studies minor consists of a minimum of 18 credits, at least 9 of which must be at the 300 level, including:
  1. Introduction to the Study of Religion – One Course (3 credits): Rel 202 (Introduction to the Study of Religion).
  2.  
  3. Global Religions 1, Asian and Indigenous Traditions - Two Courses (6 credits) selected from: Rel 100 (Religions of Asia), Rel 333 (Women and Goddesses in India), Rel 340 (Buddhism), Rel 341 (Religions of India, or Phil 105 (Philosophy and Religion of India and China).
  4.  
  5. Global Religions 2, Western Traditions - Two Courses (6 credits) selected from: Rel 101 (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Rel 302 (Religion and Cultural Conflict), Rel 303 (Jewish Scriptures), Rel 304 (New Testament and Early Christianity), Rel 305 (Prophets and Prophecy), Rel 311 (Religion in America), Rel 325 (Oppression and Liberation in Religion), Rel 330 (Women and Religion), or Rel 342 (Islam).
  6.  
  7. Electives - A minimum of One Course (3 credits) from religious studies and collateral courses including Anth 110 (Contemporary Cultural Diversity), Anth 320 (Anthropology of Religion), Anth 380 (Anthropology of Health and Disease), Art 270 (Survey of Asian Art I), Art 374 (Ancient and Medieval Japanese Art), Hist 332 (Women’s Issues in the Muslim World), Hist 357 (The Reformation), Phil 320 (Philosophy of Religion), Phil 327 (19th and 20th Century Philosophy), Phil 330 (Existential Philosophy), Poli Sci 324 (Religion and Politics).
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