Religious Studies Major

Description: A general program that combines the study of philosophy and religious studies. Includes instruction in logic; ethics; epistemology; symbolism; phenomenology; the sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art of religion; and world religions.

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Religious Studies Major

What Kinds of Students Major in Religious Studies?

Religious studies majors engage in a wide ranging, liberal education that can include the learning of modern and ancient languages as well as the study of many other cultures and view-points. Students should be interested in interpreting documents, constructing arguments, evaluating the coherence of their own and others' belief systems. They should want to learn about historical, philosophical and anthropological approaches to profound religious questions. Religious studies students are invited to think about religion, society and the world in which we live from a variety of perspectives. Religious studies is a pure academic discipline that requires no commitment to a particular religion or religious orientation, though it does not prohibit this, of course. Students who wish to pursue a career within a religion may also choose a more professionally-oriented course of study, pre-theological studies. This is a course of study that may have some elements in common with religious studies, but that is directed at producing people who are committed to their religion as a practicing professional.

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What Courses Do Religious Studies Majors Take?

The required and elective courses you would take for Religious Studies majors vary considerably among institutions. Courses are listed here that are illustrative of the breadth of topics you are likely to experience were you to major in this field.

  • Asian Religions
  • Christianity
  • European Religions
  • Islam and Near Eastern Religions
  • Judaism
  • Mediterranean Religions
  • The Bible
  • The Koran

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