Learning Goals for Religion Majors

  1. Students who major in Religion will be able to analyze and understand religious phenomena based upon:
    • substantive knowledge of the religions in four areas:
      1. Asian Religions
      2. Near Eastern Religions
      3. Religion in America
      4. Western Religious Thought
    • the different dimensions of religion
    • different periods of religious thought and practice, both classic periods of origins and later developments
  2. Students who major in religion will be able to distinguish confessional from academic approaches to religion, and to bracket the former in their interpretations of religious phenomena.
  3. Students who major in Religion will be able to carry out independent research on religious phenomena by:
    • formulating a sophisticated Religious Studies research question,
    • conducting appropriate research in order to answer that question,
    • presenting his or her answers to the research question in writing that meets the highest standards of conceptual clarity and correct and readable prose,
    • discussing orally the subject matter of her or his research and locating it within the wider horizon of the phenomenon of religion in a substantive, articulate, conceptually clear, and precise manner.
  4. Students who major in religion will be able to locate their own methodological perspective within the major methods of religious studies (viz., history of religions, sociology of religion, history, normative disciplines [theology and philosophy of religion], and gender studies) and be able to articulate the contributions and limitations of each method.