Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, April 19, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Friday, April 19, 2019.
Courses in Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam form the core offerings in the department. Students examine cultural and social expressions of those religions (sacred texts, rituals, spiritual and legal writings, institutions) at a particular period, over time, and in relation to broader historical, philosophical, and ethical issues. In addition, a number of elective courses are offered that focus on a particular theme, issue, or tradition not covered in the core offerings. Such courses include Gandhi, Rationality and Religious Beliefs and Hebrew Prophets and Religion of Ancient Egypt.
Required for the religious studies major
The major in RLST comprises the following courses:
- RLST 100: Intro to Religious Studies
- Three 200 level courses on religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Ancient Egypt)
- Two 300-level theory courses (Rationality and Religious Belief, Faith and Power in the Mediterranean, Nietzsche/Freud, and Colonialism and Global Structures)
- One 400- or 500-level seminar
- RLST 610: Senior Projects
- Two electives
Independent studies/tutorials can be used to fulfill only the elective requirements.
For graduation majors must complete a senior capstone project, which includes taking the Senior Projects course and presenting at the RLST symposium at the end of spring term of their senior year.
Required for the religious studies minor
The minor in religious studies is intended to enable students to concentrate on a religious tradition connected to their area of interest. The requirement of both an introductory course and at least one course outside their chosen tradition ensures that religious studies minors develop some expertise in the overall study of religion. The minor requires a minimum of five courses (30 units), which include:
- RLST 100: Introduction to Religious Studies
- Two courses (12 units) in one of the following areas: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity
- A seminar-level course (6 units)
- One additional six-unit course outside the chosen area
A C average in the minor is also required.
Students considering graduate work in religious studies should note that completion of a graduate degree typically requires demonstrated proficiency in at least one modern foreign language (normally French or German) as well as one or more additional languages (depending on the area of concentration). College work leading toward graduate study should be planned with these requirements in mind.
Senior Experience in Religious Studies
The Senior Experience for Religious Studies consists of a one-term seminar (taught in the winter term) that gives students the opportunity to complete a project (usually a paper, but other formats are possible) that builds upon the previous course work and academic experiences of the student. The class also offers students an introduction to several theoretical perspectives that will enable them to see their project from a broadly comparative perspective. Additionally, students are required to participate in a departmental symposium, in which student work is presented and discussed by majors, minors, and faculty. Students pursuing double majors, double degrees, or teacher certification are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors and relevant departments to plan and negotiate their overall Senior Experience as early as possible.