Students choose courses that survey global religions and topics related to them. Although no specific careers are associated with religious studies, the practice of learning about different cultures and religious beliefs is good preparation for many different careers having to do with people. Prospective educators, lawyers, public administrators, social workers and health care providers, to name a few examples, can benefit from this type of broad-based humanities major.
These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and beneficial for those interested in:
- Ancient Languages and Literature
- Comparative Religion
- Philosophy and Theology
- Politics and Culture
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List of Courses
Religions of the World Course
Providing a historical survey of the main Western and Eastern religions, this foundational course discusses concepts of gods and founders of religious communities, as well as their impact on world events. Core beliefs and practices of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism are presented. The class may include an overview of primitive practices relating to shamanism and aboriginal religions.
Comparative Western Religions Course
This introductory course gives students a general view of the role of religion in Western societies. It may include comparisons of religious viewpoints, their similarities, and distinctions. Classes explore historical accounts and core beliefs held in the practices of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Comparative Eastern Religions Course
Included in this course is an in-depth introduction to the historical development and current practices of religions that first emerged in Asian countries such as China, Japan, and India. Foundations of Confucianism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism are reviewed, along with several primitive Eastern folk religions still in practice today.
Students enrolled in this class learn about the development of basic Islamic beliefs and practices. The course includes an examination of the literature, festivals and ceremonies that make up the religion's present-day practice. Students may also explore how Islam relates to Western culture and Christianity, Judaism and other religions.
Instruction on the birth and history of Buddhism is provided in this class. Enrollees may compare the religion's current traditional practice in Indian, East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. Courses focus on the Buddha's path to enlightenment as viewed through Buddhist literature, doctrines, and philosophies. Current debates on Buddhist concepts may also be analyzed, along with the impact of Buddhism on modern society.