Religious Studies

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Religious Studies Program
HUM 388
Director: Jacob Needleman

Undergraduate Advisers: Bailis, Epstein, Kidner, Martin, A., Miller, R., Needleman


Minor in Religious Studies

Program Scope

The Religious Studies Minor offers students the opportunity to study the full spectrum of humankind’s religious heritage from an interdisciplinary perspective. Religion is an individual as well as a social phenomenon and the curriculum takes the students through both realms. Basic value questions are investigated from the viewpoint of religion, of disciplines looking at religion and of the individual in a pluralistic, unsettled world. More than half the minor is individually selected in consultation with an adviser, though the courses must represent the different dimensions of the religious experience as listed below. Students may focus their course combination in the minor on a specific religious tradition such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism; on a particular issue common to different religions; or on a particular culture or historical period.

As an interdisciplinary minor, Religious Studies can be taken in conjunction with any major.

Career Outlook

The Religious Studies Minor provides an excellent background for those considering the ministry, social work, counseling, politics, law, or teaching at any level. As a help in shaping a person's own view of the meaning and purpose of life, it can be of lasting value whatever one's career.


Online course descriptions are available.

Introduction to Religious Traditions Units
PHIL 502 World Religions (3) or a comparable course taken at another institution 3
The Nature of Religious Experience
PHIL 525/RELS 300 The Nature of Religious Experience or 3
PHIL 500 Philosophy of Religion
The Dimensions of Religious Experience
Normally one course should be taken from each of the following categories and no more than two courses from a single discipline 12
The Expressive Dimensions of Religious Experience
ART 202 Western Art History II
ART 205 Asian Art History
BLS 610 African Art, Myth, and Religion
ENG 503 Arthurian Romance
ENG 525 Modern American Mystics
ENG 580 William Blake
ENG 589 Milton
ENG 630 Selected Studies: The Bible as Literature
ENG 630 Selected Studies: Religious Themes in Contemporary Literature
ENG 630 Selected Studies: The Visionary Child in Literature
ITAL 581 The Divine Comedy (taught in the language)
MUS 505 Music of the World's People
DANC 415 Dance in Religion
DANC 430 Historical Survey of Dance in the Western World: 1300-Present
DANC 657 Dance Ethnology
THA 401 Theatre Backgrounds: 500 B.C.-1642
WCL 260 Myths of the World
The Study of Particular Religious Traditions
AIS 310 American Indian Religion and Philosophy
AIS 450 American Indian Science
BLS 326 Black Religion
CLAS 330 Myth in Ancient Epic
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology
ENG 501 Age of Chaucer
ENG 509 Age of Humanism
ENG 630 Selected Studies: Bible and English/American Literary Tradition
HIST 110 History of Western Civilization I
HIST 111 History of Western Civilization II
HIST 321 Hellenistic Greece
HIST 325 Late Antiquity
HIST 326 The Byzantine Empire
HIST 328 Early Christian Church to 313
HIST 329 Early Christian Church, 313-787
HIST 331 The High Middle Ages
HIST 336 The Reformation
HIST 480 Thought and Culture in America
HIST 600 The Ancient Near East
HIST 635 Recent History of the Jewish People
HUM 375 Biography of A City: Rome
HUM 403 The Early Middle Ages
HUM 404 The High Middle Ages
HUM 406 The Creation of the Modern World: 16th–18th Centuries
MUS 532 Music of Latin America
PHIL 302 Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 504 History of Christian Thought I
PHIL 508 Indian Philosophy and Religion
PHIL 510 Far Eastern Philosophy and Religion
PHIL 510 Spiritual Traditions in China
PHIL 515 Semitic Religious Thought
PHIL 520 Modern Religious Thought
PHIL 530 Feminist Religious Thought
PHIL 530 Selected Religious Thinkers
SNSK 350 Sanskrit Language and Literature
WOMS 590 Women's Myth and Ritual
WOMS 560 Jewish Women
The Study of Religious Phenomena: Disciplinary Perspectives
ANTH 570 Anthropology of Religion
HIST 482 Religion in America
HUM 345 Humanism and Mysticism
NEXA 281 Myth and Scientific Thought
NEXA 380 Cosmologies and World Views
NEXA 387 Origins of Modern Science
PHIL 500 Philosophy of Religion
The Senior Experience
RELS 696 Directed Reading in Religious Studies 3
Total 21

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