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Religious Studies

What is Religious Studies?

Religious Studies is the study of religious belief systems from various disciplinary perspectives (sociology, anthropology, comparative cultural studies, philosophy, literature, art and architecture, political science, etc.) It is not a degree in theology per se, though the study of scriptural traditions is integral to the major. Rather, Religious Studies focuses on religions as they operate in cultures and societies, and as they influence events and attitudes in local communities and global contexts.

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies provides students with a well-rounded understanding of major religious traditions and practices while also offering specialization in particular religions, regions, and/or theoretical approaches to the study of religion in historical, global and comparative contexts.

In addition to fulfilling College and University requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, students declaring the Bachelor of Arts (major) in Religious Studies must:

  • complete 30 credit hours in the major, which may include a 3 hour Practicum
  • earn a final minimum GPA of 2.0 in coursework
  • complete 18 credit hours of coursework at the advanced level
  • complete 15 credit hours in residence

Note: no course taken to fulfill the major may be applied towards a student’s minor.

Requirements for the B.A. in Religious Studies:

All of the following are required:

1) Required Course (credit hours: 3.0)

RELS 1301 Introduction to Religious Studies (Language, Philosophy &Culture Core)

2)  3 credit hours of EITHER  RELS 2310 The Bible and Western Culture I (Humanities Core) — OR — RELS 2311 The Bible and Western Culture II (Humanities Core)

3)  24 credit hours from the following course list:

RELS 2310  The Bible and Western Culture I (credit hours: 3.0) (if not taken above)
RELS 2311  The Bible and Western Culture II (credit hours: 3.0) (if not taken above)
RELS 2330  Judaism (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2335  Rabbinic Biblical Interpretation (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2336  Introduction to Jewish Studies (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2340  Introduction to Hinduism (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2345  Sacred Texts and Mythologies of India (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2350  Introduction to Islam (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2360  Introduction to Buddhism (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2372  Bible and Modern Pop Culture (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2380  Religion and Film (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 2396  Selected Topics in Religious Studies (credit hours: 3.0)

RELS 3322  The Catholic Intellectual Tradition (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3323  Continuities: Jewish and Christian Texts and Tradition (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3325  Paul of Tarsus: His Life and Letters (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3330  Christianity (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3332  Religion and the Visual Arts (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3333  Religion and Literature (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3334  Us and Them: Ethical Decision-Making in Complex Cultures (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3335  Black Atlantic Religions (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3336  Caribbean Societies and Cultures (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3355  Yoga and Philosophy (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3360  Muslim-Christian Relations (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3366  History of Magic, Witchcraft and the Occult (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3370  Bible and Modern Science (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3371  Women in Bible/ Old Testament (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3373  Jews in the Ancient World (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3375  Christianity and Ethics (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3376  Themes in Comparative Religion (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3377  Belief and Unbelief (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3380  Introduction to Asian Religions (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3381  Global Hinduism (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3382  Politics and Religion in South Asia (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3386  Comparative Study of Buddhism and Christianity (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3390  Hinduism and Jainism (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3396  Selected Topics in Religious Studies (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 3398  Independent Study (credit hours: 3.0)

RELS 4320  Religion and Personality (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 4350  Religious Studies Internship Practicum (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 4360  Clash of Civilizations (credit hours: 3.0)
RELS 4395  Religious Studies Senior Research Seminar (credit hours: 3.0)

ANTH 2365  Aztec and Maya Beliefs and Cosmologies (credit hours: 3.0)
ANTH 3335  Black Atlantic Religions (credit hours: 3.0)
ANTH 3338  Peoples of Africa (credit hours: 3.0)
ANTH 3348  Anthropology of Religion (WID) (credit hours: 3.0)

CCS 3393  Comparative Approaches to Indigenous Cultures in the Americas (credit hours: 3.0)

ENGL 4360  Bible as Literature (credit hours: 3.0)

HIST 3391  Africa, Islam, and the Indian Ocean World (credit hours: 3.0)
HIST 4332  The Crusades (credit hours: 3.0)

ILAS 3300  Study Abroad Experience (credit hours: 3.0)

WCL 3341  Early Islamic Society: Literature and Thought (credit hours: 3.0)