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Learning Objectives

Students majoring in RS will:

  • gain strong familiarity with at least one religious tradition, be able to recognize its manifestations in text and in culture, and be able to engage in informed discussion of its beliefs, history, and practice, as well as of issues and questions that accrue to its study.
  • be exposed to at least one religious tradition the founding ideas and practices of which are foreign to those of the tradition that forms the student's primary focus.
  • show proficiency in a variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of religion (e.g. philosophical, anthropological, and historical), recognize and distinguish them when they are met in secondary sources, understand their strengths and weaknesses, critique their application to various phenomena, and lay a foundation for their critical integration in a broader understanding of the nature of religion.
  • carry out sustained research on a topic that integrates classroom exposure with original investigation.
  • appreciate the critical perspective brought to bear on the study of religion by art and literature.
  • analyze the interaction of religion with cultural institutions, groups, and individuals.
  • recognize the diversity, historically and geographically, of religious traditions; demonstrate sensitivity to the varieties of religious expression and the integrity of religious insight; utilize their exposure to unfamiliar traditions critically to clarify their own assumptions and the lenses they bring to their studies.