Goals for Religion Study

The Department of Religion has set forth six major goals that shape its teaching and scholarly work.

The Religion Major is designed to enable students:

  1. To gain exposure to multiple religious traditions and cultures in their specific geographical, historical, and/or contemporary contexts.
  2. To gain in-depth knowledge of at least one religious tradition.
  3. To investigate multiple sources of religious life, including texts, practices, beliefs, and material and visual culture.
  4. To explore religious life and culture through various approaches: historical, philosophical, theological, ethical, sociological, exegetical, ethnographic, political, psychological, and others.
  5. To understand “religion” as an analytical concept that has been subject to multiple definitional debates and has played a key role in the development of the social sciences and humanities.
  6. To study how communities create systems of value in order to reflect critically on the challenges of modern citizens and consumers and to imagine opportunities for creative cultural and political engagement.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the Department of Religion offers general students, majors, and minors a curriculum of studies at introductory and advanced levels in the history of religious traditions and the relations between religions, societies, ideas, values, attitudes and artistic expressions. This curriculum includes a broad, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary array of courses inquiring into Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim religious traditions. In addition, thematic courses take up common human issues and explore them from the perspectives of diverse religious traditions. Students are given opportunities to study religion abroad.

The Department of Religion works closely with other departments in the College and professional schools which have interests in the study of religion. We offer joint majors with the departments of HistorySociology, ClassicsPhilosophy, and Anthropology, and also work collaboratively with other units and schools such as the Center for Ethics, and the Rollins School of Public Health among others. In addition to what is offered for undergraduates in the Department of Religion, the study of religion generally is enhanced significantly by the work of the Candler School of Theology, the Graduate Division of Religion, and the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts.

The Office of the Dean of the Chapel & Religious Life coordinates religious worship, campus religious organizations and programs, and co-curricular opportunities for students interested in religion.