Comparative Study of Religions
Religion stands at the heart of human diversity. In global business, politics, healthcare, scientific research, literature, music, or art, it is essential to understand the religious motives and differing beliefs, practices, and values of people that shape their decisions and actions, their history, social structure, and psychology.
This focus provides students with the framework for understanding the religious motives and differing beliefs, practices and values of people from a global perspective. It allows students to understand how these factors have shaped their decisions and actions, as well as their history, social structure and psychology.
Interested in expanding your view of the world through a focus or minor in the Comparative Study of Religions? Contact Program Coordinator Dr. Dunja Jelesijevic to learn more.
Students who pursue a focus in Comparative Study of Religions will accrue the following skills:
Critical thinking Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will know and be able to apply a variety of modern academic approaches and methods to the analysis of global religious phenomena, including discourse, practices, values, and material culture. They will have demonstrated ability to apply historical-critical analysis, based upon publicly accessible reasoning, to diverse religious discourses and practices.
Critical reading Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will have mastered the ability to produce culturally-contextual interpretations of religious texts by analyzing them as products of diverse human societies under specific conditions, and outlining their structure and logic within the intellectual tradition they represent.
Effective writing Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will have demonstrated the ability to produce clear, coherent written presentations and analyses of information in a number of different lengths and levels of detail, for readers with varying degrees of prior familiarity with the field of religious studies.
Civil discourse Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will have learned to use neutral, comparative terminology in describing and analyzing religious phenomena. They will have demonstrated the ability to speak and write about religious subjects without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics, and in this way to contribute to civil public dialogue regarding the diversity of global religious beliefs, practices, and values.
Interdisciplinarity Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will be able to explain the different kinds of human expression involved in written and oral literature, ritual, art, architecture, and codes of conduct, and what constitutes valid interpretation of each form. They will have demonstrated ability to employ approaches and methods from a variety of academic disciplines appropriately to the nature of the material or issue being investigated, such as history, art history, comparative literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.
Cultural awareness Accordion Closed
Graduates with a focus in the Comparative Study of Religions will be able to communicate the relation of religious phenomena to common conditions, concerns, and aspirations shared by human beings globally, and to explain the development of diverse religious traditions in contact and interaction with one another as constitutive elements of global human cultures. Thus, they will be able to work successfully with others of differing cultural and religious backgrounds in settings as diverse as business enterprises, cultural preservation efforts, educational institutions, and hospice or social service organizations.