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Goals for Religion Study

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

    • enable students to develop skill in interpreting the plurality of religions in their historical and contemporary settings, and to appreciate critically the influence of religions in shaping human experience and society.
    • help students to understand religious experience, ritual and spiritual practice and cultural expression and to write reflectively about them from social, historical, artistic, theological or intellectual perspectives.
    • encourage students to understand themselves better as moral persons in the world, and make available to students the opportunity to explore the moral or spiritual dimensions of their work in the study of religion and of the relevance of that work for their life in the world.
    • prepare students for graduate and professional study.

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 History, Sociology, Classics, Philosophy, and Anthropology, and also work collaboratively with other units and schools such as the Center for Ethics, the Rollins School of Public Health and the School of Law, 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.

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