Religion plays a central role in today’s world, exerting a profound influence on individuals, communities, and cultures as well as on politics, public policy, and international relations. As a result, the academic study of religion - deep knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, of how religion shapes social and political systems and motivates groups and individuals - is more important now than ever before. The interdisciplinary minor in Religious Studies fosters such an understanding of religious beliefs, practices, and systems, one that enables students to engage the world and its complex, often mysterious religious traditions in an informed and responsible way. In addition, it introduces students to great thinkers, artists, poets, fascinating religious figures, and the enduring questions that have long been central to the liberal arts.
Minor in Religious Studies
The minor in Religious Studies is non-sectarian and interdisciplinary. It seeks to understand religious people, groups, systems, and institutions, not to prove or disprove them; to foster appreciation of religious diversity, not challenge or affirm any particular tradition’s claim to truth. It draws on the methods of history, psychology, literary criticism, philosophy, anthropology, and social science to achieve a multi-faceted approach to the discipline. It also equips students with the critical thinking and writing skills expected of a liberal arts education.
Students who select this minor must consult with and have approval of the Religious Studies advisor to establish a plan of study. This should be done prior to completing 6 semester hours of course work listed for the program. The program form must be filed with an academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and certified upon application for graduation by the Dean of the College in which the major study degree will be awarded.
The Religious Studies minor requires a minimum of 18 upper-division hours of designated course work.