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Department of Humanities and Fine Arts

Religious Studies

In this program students will become familiar with a diverse range of religious phenomena. They will be able to compare foundational beliefs among many religious traditions (including the Zulu religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) about such topics as human nature, the origin of the universe, life after death, gender roles, the relation between science and religion, the relation between religion and philosophy, and the grounding of ethics. The instruction will focus on helping students develop 1) their own approach to religious diversity, 2) their own perspective on religion and spirituality, 3) an ability to interpret scripture, 4) credentials for ministry and/or further scholarship, 5) an awareness and understanding of key 21st century issues surrounding religion, such as the manner of promoting religious tolerance, the role of religion in global ethics, the ability of religion to promote environmental awareness, the compatibility of deep religious differences, the role of religion in local and global politics, the part religion plays in race relations, the role of gender in the world’s religion, and the relation between science and religion.