To major in religion means to pursue the academic study of religion from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Religion is deeply implicated in history, culture, and literature and its role is evident in the world today. One does not have to be “religious” to study religion, nor is the study of religion directed toward establishing the truth of one religion over another. Although each student brings his or her own perspective to the study of religion, one may use a major in religion in many different ways. In addition to a number of professional options, the basic intellectual purpose of religious studies is to develop an appreciation for, an understanding of, and a critical insight into the rich variety of the world’s religious traditions.
Beyond the general requirements for the B.A. degree, a major in religion consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours in the field, of which at least 18 hours must be in upper division courses. The department requires of all religion majors the following courses: Introduction to World Religions (RELI 1010); Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (RELI 2150); New Testament (RELI 2160); and Senior Seminar in Religion (RELI 4010), which is the third writing course.
In addition, one of the following is also required: Native American Religions (3020), Shamanism (3030), Religions of the East (3050), Islam (3200), or The Buddhist Tradition (4020).