Religion Overview

Robert G. Morrison, Department Chair

Lynn A. Brettler, Department Coordinator

Professors: Jorunn J. Buckley, John C. Holt** (Asian Studies)

Associate Professors: Robert G. Morrison, Elizabeth A. Pritchard

Assistant Professor: Todd Berzon

Visiting Faculty: Carmen Wickramagamage

The Department of Religion offers students opportunities to study the major religions of the world, East and West, ancient and modern, from a variety of academic viewpoints and without sectarian bias.

Each major is assigned a departmental advisor who assists the student in formulating a plan of study in religion and related courses in other departments. The advisor also provides counsel in career planning and graduate study.

Requirements for the Major in Religion

The major consists of nine courses in religion, including two required courses—Religion 1101 {101}: Introduction to the Study of Religion and Religion 3390 {390}: Theories about Religion. For the seven remaining courses, four courses are to be taken at the intermediate level (numbered 2000–2999 {200–289}), one in each of the following four designated areas: (1) Asian Religions, (2) Bible and Comparative Studies, (3) Christianity and Gender, and (4) Islam and Post-Biblical Judaism. Majors must also complete an additional advanced course in religion (numbered 3000–3999 {300–399}) and two electives, one of which may be a first-year seminar (numbered 1000–1049 {10–29}).

In order to enroll in Religion 3390 {390}, a major normally will be expected to have taken four of the nine required courses. This seminar is also open to qualified non-majors with permission of the instructor. In addition, candidates for honors complete a tenth course, advanced independent study, as part of their honors projects. (See below, “Honors in Religion.”) No more than one first-year seminar may be counted toward the major. No more than three courses taken at other colleges or universities count toward the major. Courses that will count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).

Honors in Religion

Students contemplating honors candidacy should possess a record of distinction in departmental courses, including those that support the project, a clearly articulated and well-focused research proposal, and a high measure of motivation and scholarly maturity. At the start of the fall semester of their senior year, honors candidates enroll in an advanced independent study with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project. If the proposal, due toward the end of the fall semester, is accepted, the student goes on to enroll in an advanced independent study for the spring semester in order to complete the project. Please see the Department of Religion website for more details.

Requirements for the Minor in Religion

A minor consists of five courses—Religion 1101 {101}; three courses at the intermediate level (numbered 2000–2969 {200–289}), at least one of which shall be in Western religions and cultures and one in Asian religions and cultures; and Religion 3390 {390}.