Major

The Major in Theology and Religious Studies requires forty (40) units of course work with at least one course chosen from each of the three thematic areas of the major: Theology and Spiritualities, Scriptures and Religious Traditions, and Religion, Society and Ethics. The remaining twenty-eight (28) units of elective courses should be chosen by each individual student and approved by a Theology and Religious Studies Department advisor. In their senior year, students prepare a Capstone synthesis paper in connection with one of their final courses and in consultation with a faculty advisor.

 

Thematic Areas

Theology and Spiritualities 

Courses in this area deal with three dimensions of "faith seeking understanding," a phrase that has classically described theology as a discipline. Theology seeks to articulate the truth of faith and ethics (especially regarding the implications of faith in human life and activity). Spirituality (the practice and understanding of the faith experience) is closely related to Theology but may also be highly individualized and isolated from institutional religion.

Scriptures and Religious Traditions

Courses in this area focus on the sacred scriptures of the major religious traditions of the world such as Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, and Muslim traditions. The courses examine the historical and cultural backgrounds of these texts and gauge the way that beliefs developed in ancient times. They also look at the ways ideas about these ancient texts have changed over time and influence people's lives today. 

Religion, Society, and Ethics

Religion, society, and ethics can be studied from the inside, in terms of its scriptures, beliefs, ethical and moral systems of thought as well as concrete practices, but also can be studied as a phenomenon constructive of whole communities and societies. The courses in this area invite students to see how religion informs the cultural, political, and ethical debates and issues of our day, as well as how it has worked historically to shape societies and confront moral challenges.