The academic study of religion has deep roots in Western intellectual history. One cannot adequately grasp the full dynamics of world culture without attending to the role of religion. In the last hundred years scholars in the West have paid attention to non-Western religions and to the category of "religion" itself as a dimension of human experience.
Religious studies courses do not encourage or discourage belief; rather, they engage in academic study of religion as a crucial element of human culture. Religious studies employs a variety of methods including anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical, phenomenological, literary, and linguistic approaches. The principal goal of religious studies is submitting sacred texts and traditions to descriptive, analytical, critical, and empathetic scrutiny.
Requirements for the Minor in Religious Studies
A total of 18 credits are required from the following categories:
Religious Traditions (9 credits)
Of these credits there must be at least three in Asian and Pacific Religions and at least three
in Western Religions.
Approaches to Religious Studies and Religion and Culture (9 credits)
Of these credits there must be at least three in the former and at least three in the latter.
Foreign languages appropriate to the minor are strongly recommended. For example, Japanese or Chinese is recommended for concentration in Asian and Pacific tradition, and Greek or Latin for those focusing on Western traditions.
*See Religious Studies Course List.