Religion and Culture
The curricular mission of the Department of Religion is to lead students who major in Religion and Culture to understand religion as a significant part of the human experience, simultaneously shaping and being shaped by cultures, societies and worldviews. To this end, students will become acquainted with the sacred scriptures and basic history and tenets of major world religions. Students will acquire a more in-depth understanding of the histories, beliefs and scriptures of Judaism and Christianity and will have the opportunity to explore more fully the third of the Abrahamic religions, Islam; they will understand the roles of the dialectical relationship between religion and the societies in which they are embedded with respect to such issues as science and religion and engagement with contemporary culture.
Students will come to understand the roles that religion sacred texts play both to legitimate and to challenge given cultural norms and practices. Students will be encouraged to recognize that religion plays its most significant role in society when it assumes a stance to affirm human dignity and to challenge social and cultural structures that diminish such dignity. Finally, students will learn essential skills to do original research in religion appropriate for undergraduate students.
Students interested in studying religion, either as a major or minor, should strongly consider submitting an application for the Vocational and Spiritual Exploration scholarship and the Hester Scholarship. Click here for more information.